Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS)

Developing an inclusive culture at Volkswagen Financial Services

In 2022, Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) contacted us to conduct a full review of its approach to diversity and inclusion. VWFS is an automotive financial services company which offers a range of finance and aftersales products on Volkswagen Group vehicles.

A recent Diversity Task Force for the Motor industry found minority ethnic and female workers to be significantly under-represented, a reminder that the automotive industry has a number of DEI challenges yet to overcome.

VWFS wanted to take a pro-active approach to driving positive change across the organisation. VWFS commissioned EW Group to conduct a diversity audit of its current position in DEI, identifying bias, and barriers or blockers to inclusion, and making recommendations on how it could become a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

We didn’t commission EW Group to simply tell us what we were doing well… there is of course room for us to do better. And I think it’s incumbent on all of us to ensure we’re championing inclusive cultures that allow people from all backgrounds to flourish and contribute to a successful automotive industry.

Mike Todd, CEO, Volkswagen Financial Services

An in-depth bespoke diversity audit and report

We developed a bespoke audit framework drawing on research into global DEI best practice. As part of the process Diversity Consultant, Zara Sloane, conducted interviews and focus groups with staff across VWFS and carried out a review of VWFS’s policies and practices against DEI best practice and reviewed available diversity data.

The report covered the following Pillars of Excellence:

  • Workforce – Data & Analysis
  • Inclusion and Diversity Strategy & Plan
  • Leadership & Accountability
  • Learning & Development: Awareness, Skills Development and Culture Change
  • Inclusive Workplaces – Policies & Practices

The resulting report captured key findings and recommendations and commended VWFS’s efforts to date.

The DEI review for VWFS was a great opportunity for them to recognise and leverage their strengths and highlight key areas of focus that would help them accelerate their progress and impact of the DEI agenda. In this case it wasn’t about lack of leadership commitment or doing more, but rather creating clear alignment and strategic focus alongside consistent tracking and measurement of progress to ensure an open and accountable approach. Listening to VWFS staff has been key in this process and continuing the feedback loop to understand the employee experience in the journey is something VWFS are seeking to formalise and continue to support their progress.

Zara Sloane, Diversity Consultant, EW Group

Off the back of the audit report, VWFS has commissioned EW Group to support the implementation of several of the recommendations made. EW Group’s diversity specialists will be conducting a company-wide survey which will contribute to the development of the organisation’s DEI strategy, which is being written with the support of Zara Sloane and the EW Group team, along with the creation and launch of Employee Resource Groups.

We are proud to continue our partnership with VWFS and are excited to work with them to continue to further DEI across their organisation.

Get in touch to find out how we can support your DEI journey

Get in touch