When our people move to a different country to work, it can be difficult for their partners to find their feet. ABB in Switzerland is looking for ways to help them and to make our organization even more diverse.
Where is the best local school? How do I find a job? Is there a local orchestra I can join? When you move to a foreign country with your partner, lots of questions come to mind and often there is no one to answer them.
In some cases, employees are less likely to take a foreign assignment if their partners cannot find the information they need to enjoy expat life. Therefore, the easier we can make it for them, the more we can support diversity across the organization globally.
People joining ABB in Switzerland from abroad are invited to regular networking events with their partners to help them find their feet and make contacts. The focus is mainly on topics such as living and working in Switzerland, in order to support the newcomers' integration into the local society. Meeting people who are living the same experience and share their challenges is an important first step for building up new networks.
"My daughter and I attended the very first Meet & Greet, and we met such great people that I decided to volunteer for the planning committee,” said Michelle Jones, an expatriate in Switzerland. “Connecting with people from all over the world who have made Switzerland their home, and having integration support at the same time, has greatly enhanced our experience."
Globally ABB is seen as a leader in technology and innovation. On a local level, our goal is to also be seen as a leader in reconciliation.
Within our workplace, ABB Australia continues to strive toward an inclusive workplace fostering respect, understanding and harmony between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians.
More jobs, more trade
By signing the Statement of Commitment and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), we are committed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation at all levels of our organization and to support future generations through educational programs. We are also building opportunities through procurement, working with indigenous business owners through our sub-contractors. This program focuses on three key areas of opportunities, relationships and respect.
Culture and education
We regularly take part in activities such as the annual celebration of the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, known as NAIDOC week.
Find out more about ABB Australia's RAP and related activities here.
A recent raft of diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts in India is already helping to attract and develop a new generation of talented women.
ABB India launched a national D&I Council in 2018 to drive local implementation of the group D&I Framework and track progress against a range of targets. Staffed with senior leaders from across ABB India, the council conducted workshops with each business to ensure open discussion on current challenges and to draft action plans to bridge the gaps. New initiatives focused on each of the three D&I framework pillars. For example:
ABB India’s combined D&I efforts are already showing impact, especially among graduates, a key focus for the group: last year, 52% of all graduate hires were from minority groups, rising to 61% on the Graduate Engineer Program.
Young Emiratis have traditionally focused on public sector careers. As we continue to grow in the UAE, we have taken steps to encourage more of them to join us.
We believe it is our social responsibility to give opportunities to local people in the countries we work in. It is the right thing to do for business too: Professionals who have grown up in that culture have a better understanding of local markets and how to build relationships with customers and suppliers.
By publicizing our training and the flexible, long-term career opportunities available, we have been able to engage more and more young Emiratis. One of the keys to our success has been the specialized training we offer in our latest technologies and equipment in our Abu Dhabi Learning Zone. Employees and customers can pursue hands-on and virtual learning.
Parallel to our internal actions, in 2013 there was a significant government initiative aimed at getting more young people into the private sector, directed by the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister. It was the perfect time to strengthen our efforts, and we have been more successful as a result.
Each year, 20 high potential women at ABB Sweden join a networking and mentorship program to increase the number of women in leadership roles over the long-term.
Established in 2015, Women’s Forum Forward Sweden provides young talents with the opportunities they need to develop and introduces senior managers to the next generation of women leaders. By building a strong network, women can support and coach each other through their careers in ABB.
Many participants from the program have now progressed into management, and female leaders have significantly contributed to ABB Sweden's rapid growth in recent years.
The “Girlsatec” – Young women conquer technical professions” project was launched in Berlin in 2013.
The “Girlsatec” project aims to expand career horizons for girls and young women in the field of industrial and technical professions. In parallel, it informs the target groups “parents” and “teachers” about job-specific entry requirements and what the respective training programs entail while presenting the opportunities and career prospects for girls and young women in this field.
The “Girlsatec” has come up with target group oriented approaches and ways to appeal to girls and young women. In addition to offering hands-on methods for introducing girls and young people to technical work by letting them try it out, the project also provides information about apprenticeships in industrial and technical fields at schools, job/trade fairs and events – and at ABB Ausbildungszentrum Berlin GmbH. The project organizes workshops for company representatives, prepares informational material for the various target groups, presents results and activities of the project on its own website, Facebook page and YouTube channel and supports the exchange of experience and results through extensive networking activities.
The “Girlsatec” project has already achieved significant results in Berlin and gained experience that sets benchmarks throughout Germany and beyond. As an example, 127 events were organized in 2018 together with 44 schools and over 1,700 girls were directly targeted and reached.