Mercedes-Benz USA

MB Clubs and Business Resource Groups (BRGs)

Challenge

After relocating our headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia, MBUSA’s workforce is more diverse in many ways (gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, work experience, etc.). We recognized that the move impacted our culture and that employees needed more ways to connect with each other professionally and personally.

Actions

We launched two initiatives to foster an inclusive culture where people from all backgrounds can network, develop, and contribute to our business and the community: MB Clubs and Business Resource Groups (BRGs). We first surveyed employees to understand which clubs / BRGs they wanted in order to ensure the groups would be grass roots and sustainable. The D&I Team then connected interested employees and let them drive the groups, while providing ongoing structure, guidance, and oversight.

Outcomes

MB Clubs

MBUSA has over 20 MB Clubs around the country that encompass a variety of personal interests (sports, reading, photography, foreign languages, DIY projects, family outings, etc.). Members of the MB Clubs meet regularly to network with each other, have fun, and give back to the community.

In order to drive more excitement, we had a Shark Tank-style competition called “Clash of the Clubs,” where clubs competed against each other for funding from the D&I Team for their club activities. Each club had 5 minutes to present the case for how their club drives engagement and inclusion and were judged on content, delivery, and creativity.

Business Resource Groups (BRGs)

MBUSA has 5 Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and each BRG has 3 committees: Development, Business Impact, and Community. Although BRGs are not unusual, the mix of our BRGs is somewhat different, particularly as it relates to generational issues and secondary diversity dimensions:

  • Driveher (Women)
  • IGNITE (African American)
  • Unity (LGBT & Allies)
  • ERAS (Generational)
  • CONNECT (Communication style, work experience, function, and location)

Diversity and Inclusion are core components of our culture and business strategy at Mercedes-Benz USA.  But despite the work we have done over the years, there is more to be done. I am proud to join with other corporate leaders who are part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to pledge our commitment to continue to push our organizations forward. It is our collective responsibility to stay focused on these important issues and to drive both conversation and action.

Dietmar Exler, Mercedes-Benz USA

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