Page Overview: BMW Group - Responsibility - Employees



Employees in numbers.

Our employees are the foundation of the BMW Group´s success. Their professional qualification and commitment are outstanding. In return, we offer safe and attractive jobs and comprehensive opportunities for personal development and qualification.

Apprentices and participants in the NFP young talent promotion programs:
nationalities working together in the BMW Group:

We offer attractive jobs.

Three BMW Group employees talking in the workplace.

Our employees earn above-average wages, in global comparison, since we reward exceptional performance accordingly. In addition, we offer social benefits, such as personalised retirement models, as well as health and accident insurance. We also help our employees balance their work and family life, and safeguard their health. The success of our initiatives is reflected in a high level of employee satisfaction.

Employee development.

2.0 days

Average days of further training per BMW Group employee.

Constantly developing the skills of our employees and promoting them according to their individual strengths is an investment in our future. Faced with different challenges in labour markets worldwide, we take an active approach by consistently investing in recruiting and developing talents.

A culture of appreciation and equal opportunities.

Diversity is the engine of our success – today and in the future – because a diverse workforce is an important force for innovation.

At the BMW Group, “diversity” and “equal opportunities” refer to a holistic concept for handling workforce diversity: Employees’ uniqueness and individuality are important values and contain potential for the individual employee as well as for the company as a whole.

The full Board of Management of the BMW Group established a commitment to diversity as part of the company’s human resources and sustainability strategy back in 2010.

The BMW Group relies on a diverse workforce to enhance the company’s performance capabilities and innovation and secure its competitiveness.

Diversity is part of our corporate culture.

We need a diverse range of different individuals (different genders, nationalities, specialties, capabilities, backgrounds, etc.). We have therefore set ourselves the goal of bringing more diversity into our company at management level.

  • We view diversity as potential and the cornerstone of business success. 
  • Diversity secures our competitiveness and innovation – well-managed, mixed teams are better at handling complex tasks.
  • Diversity inspires and enriches, with huge potential for talents, experience and expertise.
  • A diverse workforce has a better understanding of the different demands of our customers around the world.
  • The increasing shortage of skilled workers demands targeting of all potential recruits.

The continued development and competitiveness of the BMW Group depends on the right management mix. The demands on company executives have changed significantly due to the volatility of an increasingly global world and the associated unpredictability of developments. The right mix helps improve thought and decision processes. In addition to people from different backgrounds and a mix of old and young, we also need more female employees, especially in management positions.

  • The Board of Management adopted a diversity concept in November 2010 to make promoting workforce diversity a priority. 
  • Diversity in numbers is not our goal. We aim to practise diversity. The potential of diversity can only be fully exploited in the appropriate corporate culture.
  • We are constantly refining our corporate culture. We attach importance to a culture defined by team spirit, openness, creativity, tolerance, mutual respect and equal opportunities. 
  • Diversity is a management responsibility. We therefore attach importance to intensive training and regular dialogue with our managers.
  • We place a strong emphasis on the following aspects:
    • gender
    • age and experience (incl. generational management)
    • cultural background

The BMW Group’s global commitment is not restricted to these areas, however. We never lose sight of the bigger picture – that all our staff must be free to develop their talents for new ideas to flourish and enable long-term success. This can only succeed in a working environment that is free of prejudices, with equal respect for all employees, regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnic background, religion, disability, age and sexual orientation. 

The BMW Group signed the Diversity Charter back in 2011 and committed itself to create a working environment free of prejudices.

We are constantly working to create a corporate culture of tolerance, mutual respect and equal opportunities. We rigorously oppose all forms of discrimination.

Diversity requirements are implemented on an individual basis in each country. Each market defines specific targets and areas of activity, reflecting the local situation and legal framework.

Further information on diversity at the BMW Group is available in the Sustainable Value Report. The relevant chapters are available for download here.

We aim to recruit well-educated, highly-qualified women and promote and retain them within the company – partially in response to demographic trends and future shortage of skilled workers.
But appropriate representation of women in the workforce and especially at management levels also makes an important contribution to the following goals:

  • The social and emotional competences often ascribed to women play an important part in the BMW Group’s understanding of leadership.
  • Women now make up a large share of BMW and MINI customers.
  • Women in management positions are role models, who can motivate schoolgirls and female students to apply for STEM courses or a job at the BMW Group.
  • Men and women often have different, complementary approaches to topics and tasks and bring a wide range of different strengths to the company. This strengthens the innovation and performance capabilities of the BMW Group over the long term.

BMW has successfully combined tradition and innovation for many years. In a constantly changing work environment facing demographic change, the success of the company will depend on securing and utilising know-how by achieving a good age mix. Close cooperation between generations will be a decisive factor, as well as challenging and developing each employee to exploit their potential.

Within just a few years, the average age of the BMW Group workforce will already be older than it is today. Positive and proactive handling of the topic of age is therefore extremely important to us.  

Older employees provide a wealth of experience, as well as strong judgement and a sense of responsibility. Younger staff, on the other hand, bring innovative ideas and new ways of working into the company. Older and younger employees therefore complement each other perfectly. This is something we want to take advantage of.

The BMW Group workforce is characterised by its cultural diversity. People with a great number of different nationalities work at just the German sites alone. The BMW Group is also active in many countries across the globe – which gives the topics of international thinking and cultural sensitivity even more significance.
The diversity of our workforce helps us understand and gear our products towards the specific needs of our customers in different markets. It also helps us find a fast and appropriate response to changing demands.

Our cultural diversity is also a driving force for innovation and new ideas.

  • We are constantly refining our corporate culture and creating a productive environment, which reaps the benefits of a diverse team structure and where everyone enjoys the same opportunities.
  • Ours is a culture defined by team spirit, openness, creativity, tolerance, mutual respect and equal opportunities. 
  • We attach importance to a working environment free of prejudice, where everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential and be assessed on the basis of their performance and potential – irrespective of their personal characteristics.
  • The issue of work-life balance is increasingly important to both men and women: Women no longer want to have to choose between career and family; fathers want to spend more time with their family. Both men and women may have older family members to take care of. A career also needs to allow for individual social responsibility or living a healthy life. The BMW Group’s flexible work-time models contribute to work-life balance.

Support for people with disabilities also forms part of the BMW Group’s social commitment and social responsibility. This includes working with severely-disabled young people in vocational training at BMW AG, as well as cooperation with organisations for disabled people. BMW AG also helps people with disabilities participate in working life by sourcing activities from organisations that primarily employ disabled persons (WfbM).

Our commitment to equality.

The BMW Group takes an holistic approach to the topic of equality to ensure appropriate representation of female staff in the workforce and management positions, in particular. For us, advancement of women begins with youth talent programmes. 

We offer potential and current female employees attractive incentives and development opportunities:

  • Coaching and mentoring programmes 
  • Youth talent programmes
  • Increased female participation in technical apprenticeships 

Measures to improve work-life balance beyond what is legally required.

The overall concept consists of direct and indirect measures to systematically promote women at BMW. Measures begin with recruitment of female employees and later concentrates on the areas of personal development, succession planning and management training. Structures to support work-life balance are also established, such as childcare services and flexible work-time models. Another important aspect of the concept is developing the corporate culture with regard to leadership behaviour and role models.

Examples of specific measures includes areas such as:

  • Targeted verification of appointments to internal management and specialist positions.
  • Work-life balance measures that go beyond legal requirements for maternity leave, family leave and caregiver leave:
    • childcare facilities
    • professional support for making childcare and eldercare arrangements
    • various part-time working options
    • mobile working
    • BMW “family caregiver leave”
  • Management training programmes for women on track for management positions.
  • Support through internal women’s network.

Since we are looking to implement lasting changes, we begin by promoting young talent and trying to interest more women in technical professions.

Long-term measures to recruit more female employees include our academic youth talent programmes and vocational programmes with a special focus on women.
In the young talent programs, the share of female trainees in the Global Leader Development Programme increased in 2020 during the period under review. In the student development programs (Fastlane, SpeedUp), women made up around 33% of participants. In this way, we hope to pave the way for a new generation of managers that includes more women, has a high level of technical expertise, is well networked and has increased awareness of cultural and social issues.

One challenge for our young talent programmes is that women are still generally underrepresented in engineering studies and technical professions. Our approach is therefore to promote an interest in technology at an early stage. To achieve this, we have implemented a wide range of measures at BMW AG:

  • Girls’ Day, since 2011 also Boys’ Day 
  • School-Economy Initiative 
  • Junior Campus at BMW Welt in Munich and the German Museum of Technology in Berlin
  • trial internships 
  • technology camp for girls

Women in management positions also serve as role models. They can inspire young women and encourage them to embark on a STEM courses.

The BMW Group approach to implementing targets uses target ranges. Target ranges allow more flexibility than fixed quotas, but are nevertheless binding. 

The Board of Management has defined target ranges for the percentage of women in the total workforce, among non-pay-scale employees, in youth talent programmes and in apprenticeships at the BMW Group.

Our commitment in the field of age and experience.

The number of years each employee works for the BMW Group is increasing. This is a result of earlier entry into the company and later exit, due for example to rising retirement ages. In order to benefit from the strengths and experience of employees of different ages, we have introduced extensive programmes for flexible and mobile working.

We deliberately integrate different age groups into the company and modify our working environment to suit employees’ different needs. Securing know-how, promoting mixed-age teams and creating the conditions for staff to stay healthy as they age are all important concerns for the BMW Group in the face of demographic change.

To guarantee a diverse age structure at new sites and in new business areas, we recruit from different age groups from the very beginning. This enables us to avoid peaks in the age structure and exploit the strengths of different age groups.

To maintain the performance capabilities of an aging workforce, we established our “Today for tomorrow” programme, which has won a number of awards, including the International Innovative Employer Award for Best Practice in Age Management (AARP).

The “Health Initiative ” offers a wide range of options to help employees maintain their long-term health.
In addition, managers are also receive special training on “Health & Leadership ” and educated about the challenges facing mixed-age teams.
Life-long learning also plays a central role for all employees, regardless of age.

Our commitment in the field of cultural engagement.

Being able to understand the specific needs of our customers in different markets requires a high degree of cultural sensitivity. We promote this skill through intensive international exchange, targeted talent development and inter-cultural engagement.

In addition to deployments abroad of varying length, we also encourage workforce interculturality through day-to-day cooperation. The company forms a global network of all cross-divisional functions, such as financial processes and information technology. Production and assembly locations outside of Germany share ideas with partner locations on a broad scale.

To encourage international thinking and interculturality among new employees, we have geared BMW vocational training and young talent retention programmes more towards participants with an international background.

Our Intercultural Innovation Award has provided support for initiatives and individuals who strive for better understanding between different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds for many years.

With this award, in close partnership with the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC),  the BMW Group is stepping up its efforts to overcome cultural and religious barriers and preserve social peace in multicultural societies.

Further commitments.

BMW Group membership of “Diversity Charter”.

In 2012, the BMW Group took a proactive approach to the topic of diversity by joining the Diversity Charter, a corporate initiative dedicated to making recognition, appreciation and integration of diversity part of German corporate culture.

More than 2,000 companies have already signed the Charter, under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In 2011, by signing the Diversity Charter, the BMW Group pledged to create a working environment free of prejudice.

BMW has been a member of the Diversity Charter since 2012, which funds a large number of projects all across Germany dedicated to promoting diversity and tolerance.


Tünde Kiraly studied in the Netherlands and worked in Japan and the United States before joining the BMW Group. This background is one of her main strengths: Because Ms. Kiraly leads a multinational team of specialists who speak 15 different languages. But on the job, they all speak the same language.

Employees talk about working in multinational teams at the BMW Group.

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Multinational teams.

For the BMW Group, diversity is an asset and an enrichment. Because different cultural backgrounds and different experiences provide the foundation for innovation and lasting success.

BMW Group employees crouched around a laptop, looking at vehicle measurements.

Make a career for yourself with the BMW Group.

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Key Performance Indicators: employees.