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Fostering a safe space for everyone: Nissan AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, Oceania) shares its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) report

Nissan's AMIEO region spans three continents, nine time zones and 140 countries. Our customers drive vehicles that traverse the open Australian outback, the bustling cities of India and the metropolises of Europe and this reflects the melting pot of cultures that make up our workforce too -  19,000 people speaking 55 languages.

This incredible diversity is our region's unique strength. Together, we are on a journey to unlock the huge creativity and potential within our business by fostering a welcoming, collaborative and safe working environment for us all. Our goal is to create a workplace culture which celebrates our differences and allows everyone to feel comfortable in bringing their true, authentic selves to work.

To achieve our aim, we know that accountability is crucial. This is why we have made it a priority to compile our first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Report for Nissan AMIEO, less than three years after forming as a new region. Our goal is to create a fully inclusive and equitable environment, across all areas of our business, and this report provides our clear commitment, accountability and transparency required, as we work towards realising this ambition.

We know we have a long way to go, but we're hitting the ground running. The creation of our DEI Manifesto , which outlines our approach, together with our DEI Council, both created in 2022, are already driving tangible change across our operations. This article will give you an idea of the amazing work carried out by teams across the region already, as well as explaining how we will build on this in the year ahead. For more details, you can read the full DEI report here.

"As the Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, I'm honoured to champion our strategy of transforming the AMIEO region into a truly equitable and inclusive workplace. Our philosophy is simple: all employees should feel safe, respected, and included - comfortable in bringing their authentic selves to work. There are many great examples of our DEI efforts throughout this inaugural Report, and these are just the start. I'm proud to lend my support to our ongoing efforts in this field, and I am counting on everyone working within the AMIEO region to join me in creating a truly inclusive and equitable workplace."
Guillaume Cartier, Chairperson, Nissan AMIEO; Head, AMIEO DEI Steer Committee

DEI Report At a Glance

Our strategic pillars

In the 2022 Financial Year (April 2022 – March 2023), the AMIEO DEI Council was established as a crucial first step in recognising the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Nissan and its employees. The council is comprised of 12 employees who are passionate about the subject and possess the will and drive to disrupt and introduce real change, in line with the evolution in today's society. That same year, the council identified four pillars to support the shift to inclusivity and lay the critical foundations for a sustainable DEI strategy.

1: Establish Accountability 

Every employee plays an important role in furthering our DEI progress, supported, of course, by a clear directive. The DEI Council is driving our DEI agenda from the ground up, sharing information, implementing strategies and communicating the guidance that employees in the region need to realise a truly inclusive and equitable workplace for all. Our DEI Manifesto, meanwhile, serves as our philosophy, providing a clear goal against which we can measure all our actions, policies and working culture.

"In FY2023, each council member has a dedicated role with measurable objectives, to ensure that we take a visible, action-oriented approach towards becoming a truly inclusive workplace. Nissan's greatest strength has always been its people. I look forward to working together to build a workplace where we can all thrive."
Friederike Kienitz, Senior Vice President – Sustainability and Corporate Governance (SCAG), Nissan AMIEO Chairperson – AMIEO Council.

2: Foster an Inclusive Culture and Workplace

Shifting the culture of a region as vast and complex as AMIEO isn't easy. That's why we're committed to introducing appropriate systems, policies and practices at local and regional levels. This ensures that all employees, regardless of level and geographical location, can play a part as we drive towards greater inclusivity.

Looking at the numbers, AMIEO is a hugely diverse region of 140 countries. Although our workforce reflects this, our DEI efforts will continue to improve representation and inclusivity to a level that fully matches our ambition.

3: Governance

While all employees play a part in DEI, decisive leadership and a strong framework is critical to guide us on our journey. In Nissan AMIEO, this leadership and accountability comes from the top with a DEI Steering Committee led by our regional chairperson. This committee is supported and advised by a dedicated DEI Council and our Human Resources function, which is responsible for developing and implementing DEI practices and policies.

As well as the regional structure, Local DEI Committees have been introduced in all sub-regions to tap into the huge wealth of local knowledge and culture, and to allow all staff in every market to get involved and contribute to our DEI journey.

4: Communication and Celebration

Taking time to celebrate the success and hard work of teams across our region, as well as sharing that success with others, is incredibly important. Within DEI, good Communications is critical in shining a spotlight on the many activities going on in our markets, exchanging ideas, guidelines and contributing to changing behaviours and shifting mindsets around DEI topics.

2022 was a pivotal year in cementing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the heart of our business. Many foundational elements were put into place, as well as a wealth of DEI-focused initiatives and projects that were either launched, or continued and built upon the great work from previous years.

Here we take a look at just some of the key actions and progress from across AMIEO outlined in the DEI report.

D&I to DEI

Last year the important decision was made by Nissan to incorporate 'Equity' into its previous 'Diversity & Inclusion' strategy globally. Equity is tremendously important because it means giving everyone the right opportunities, based on their individual skill sets. It captures our commitment to bridge the gap between Diversity and Inclusion for a truly equitable environment. We began embracing this change regionally across AMIEO from 2022.

Nissan Skills Foundation

Since 2013, the Nissan Skills Foundation, based at the Sunderland Plant, UK, has fuelled the passion of about 80,000 schoolchildren for vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing, with a heavy focus on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to inspire the next generation of talent. Claire Pickering and Lois Heywood are two former Foundation participants who are now pursuing successful careers as part of the Nissan team.

"I became involved with the Nissan Skills Foundation at the age of 17 when I discovered my interest in computer science and technology at school. The programme gave me the opportunity to get a firsthand view of the different roles at Nissan and to interact with women who work at the plant."
Claire Pickering
Trainee Maintenance Apprentice in the Press Shop, Sunderland Plant

Sponsoring Australian Netball

Nissan Australia has extended its partnership with the home of Australia's largest female team sport, Netball Australia, supporting the organisation from grassroots to the elite level. The dynamic partnership will reach new heights with a further five-year deal seeing the relationship extend to a decade.

Graduate Programme:

AMIEO is excited about bringing fresh ideas and perspectives into the company via its Graduate Programme, attracting the leaders of tomorrow and strengthening our pool of outstanding talent. We've introduced a flexible, two-year programme for entry-level, university graduates to create a consistent approach to talent development and give graduate new starters opportunities for advancement from the very beginning of their Nissan journey.

Reverse mentoring:

We launched a reverse mentoring pilot scheme in 2022, pairing senior executives with junior colleagues - or those of a different culture - in order to exchange knowledge and new ideas. It was a great success and the programme will now continue into 2023, expanding to include all regional Vice Presidents, with strong cross-representation from age groups and genders.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the AMIEO Reverse Mentoring Programme! It is an exciting and unique opportunity to expand business knowledge through conversations with a Senior Executive in a completely different function to my own."
Mentor, Rory Mullen, Graduate IS

Women in Automotive Network

In November 2022, twelve of our female employees had the opportunity to attend the Women's Automotive Winter Meet Up, a virtual, global event, featuring 25 speakers from across the automotive industry. The event gave attendees the chance to engage in breakout sessions with fellow participants and take part in networking opportunities, while discussing matters relevant to women in the industry.

"I attended the Women's Automotive Network meet up in November and found it to be very insightful. I attended several seminars/panel chats on a range of topics including why cultural diversity is important, how women can foster change and what does the future for women look like in the automotive industry.."
Kayleigh Edwards, Manager, Communications, AMIEO Region.

Women Behind Wheels:

This initiative, introduced by the Nissan India team, involves training and supporting female plant workers to learn how to drive. It is open to all women at the Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Limited (RNAIPL) plant, with a designated agency to train participants. By helping these workers to obtain a driving license, the plant is playing a role in achieving a more equitable society. To date, 90 workers at the plant have been successfully trained by the programme.

"Driving a car was my dream, and with the support of RNAIPL now the dream came true. Learning to drive has opened new possibilities for me personally and professionally."
Revathi P Technician, Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd

Inclusive Working

Nissan Centre Europe has opened a brand-new office in the German city of Wesseling, with a focus on flexibility and ease of communication for all workers. The office has been designed with several features intended to make movement as easy as possible for those using a wheelchair. This includes corridors and doors wide enough for wheelchair users, more toilets for disabled employees and height-adjustable desks.

"This move will enable our employees to work digitally, flexibly and in a mobile manner. Our 'New Work' principle encourages creative exchange, and at the same time allows individuals to work undisturbed in quiet areas."
Vincent Ricoux, Managing Director of Nissan Center Europe GmbH

Bolstering Female Representation

Nissan Saudi Arabia recently announced the opening of the first Petromin Nissan boutique showroom managed by women in the country. This is in line with Saudi Arabia's wider Saudi Vision 2030 goals, focusing on increasing the proportion of women in the country's workforce, especially in industries where they are underrepresented. Nissan is proud to be playing a key role in helping make this shared goal a reality.

Looking Ahead

DEI is an evolving journey in our still newly formed region and creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees across AMIEO will be a continuous focus for us in the months and years ahead. By publishing our first ever DEI Report, we are holding ourselves accountable.

In the 2023 Financial Year we are accelerating our progress – embracing equality through eLearning, workshops and expanded mentoring programme. We will strengthen talent management including development and succession planning, and support market teams as they roll out a series of local DEI action plans.

In AMIEO diversity is our superpower. Through our first DEI report we commit to realizing our vision of achieving true equality, working with leadership, employees and our partners to becoming the best we can be for our people and our business.