May 2021 has been designated »Diversity Month« by the European Union, highlighting the social, economic and political importance of diversity. At A1, we make a clear statement in our sustainable ESG goals to promote diversity by creating an inclusive work environment. Where it has already worked without any given targets, is in the A1 Group Marketing team. Florian Schwarz and his team tell us how to live diversity.
It is no longer a secret and numerous studies also prove: heterogeneous, diverse teams work more creatively, are more productive and more adaptable than homogeneous ones. In addition to the economic necessity, we also see a social responsibility to act sustainably in this context. For example, company-wide e-learning on unconscious bias makes even the most open-minded among us aware of where our blind spots lurk and preconceived notions steer our image.
Since 2007, Florian Schwarz has been with A1 and has gained many impressions during his 4 years as head of Marketing at what is now A1 Macedonia. There were differences not only in the work due to the size of the company in Austria and North Macedonia, but also in the approach to things in the professional and private environment. It was eye opening for him that both colleagues and employees approached some things quite differently than in Austria – but in the end delivered the expected results.
As head of A1 Group Marketing since 2015, Florian has 14 team members who almost orchestrate a perfect mix of diversity. Partly grown and partly deliberately chosen, seven nations bring different cultural perspectives, as do the various educational backgrounds and age-related perspectives, and the gender distribution is also in balance. His approach is to act within his own sphere of influence and not necessarily to wait for guidelines.
»We are a diverse team that finds unexpected perspectives in every discussion.«