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#11 Bold Moves Towards Gender Equality With Maren Gräf

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Changing a culture sometimes needs a bold move: taking a stand for gender equality in the automotive industry with Škoda’s Board Member for "People & Culture" Maren Gräf

You hear a lot of people saying “walk the talk” but hardly anyone takes it as seriously as Maren. For some months last year, she engineered a shift at Skoda by focusing on hiring women. “After 126 years of automotive tradition and a workforce that was 80% men and 20% women, we decided from now on to focus on hiring women, of course based on equal qualifications… to correspond to the distribution in the population, which is 50-50,” she says.

Gräf knows that it will take time to achieve true balance - and she has also faced criticism: “I got a lot of questions - why we now discriminate against men - whether women are at all interested in technical jobs or do they really want to go into management - all of this came up. I think the important thing is to explain again and again that this is all part of a healthy transformation in the industry.”

This is why we @MyCollective have also started talking to people within companies who are left behind when their talents go on parental leave. Once they see the value of having people in their team returning after parental leave with new skills - the transformation in the industry that Maren talks about in this podcast - we will be a big step ahead. It’s all about #ChangingTheNarrative!

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