Board Member for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian, praised the initiative’s engagement: “Right now, it is especially important to take a stand. Today, rainbow flags for diversity and tolerance are being raised at Volkswagen. These values are firmly anchored in our corporate culture. Volkswagen is thus taking a clear stand on respect, equal opportunity, coexistence, equal treatment of everyone – regardless of their ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or gender.”
The Chairman of the Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, said: “In our modern society, no one should be disadvantaged because the way they live and love differs from the majority. And today, it is still important to actively promote a culture of recognition and acceptance. For me, one example of what this means is that we must systematically oppose attitudes, and above all, actions that attack “marriage for all” or what are known as rainbow families. What matters is not who you love, the only thing that matters is how partners treat each other and how they care for their children.”
Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand Board Member for Sales, Marketing and After Sales, welcomed the initiative and commented: “At Volkswagen we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. That is why we are delighted to be supporting the action of Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg and are sending an important signal for diversity today.”
Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg e.V. initiated the project last year to raise awareness of the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17. “I’m very pleased that everyone involved immediately agreed to take part in this action”, Julia Streuer, Chair of Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg, said. “As a colorful and cosmopolitan community based on solidarity where social origin, sexual orientation and religious affiliation do not play a role, we want to make a striking statement.”
Julia Streuer and Joel Kraus from Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg were joined by Daniela Cavallo, Deputy Group Works Council Chair, Elke Heitmüller, Head of Diversity Management, and Thore Masekowitz, Spokesperson for the “We Drive Proud“ network, to send the message about diversity and tolerance outside the brand tower.
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. As a result, May 17 was declared the International Day Against Homophobia. Apart from Volkswagen, VfL Wolfsburg, phaeno, Scharoun-Theater Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Ostfalia Hochschule, Hallenbad Kultur am Schachtweg and Wolfsburg AG are among the organizations also participating in the initiative.