Moving beyond boundaries is part of our history and our people are a reflection of this. With more than 64,000 people in over 100 countries, opening frontiers and adapting to different cultures and environments is part of our corporate culture. We believe that embracing diversity is key to develop and maintain the smart mobility solutions that will support the cities of the future. We live an inclusive culture and value our employees, with their different backgrounds, skills, and ideas.
Schindler has over 1,000 branch offices worldwide and employs people from many different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. By creating a culture in which our employees are respected and valued for their diverse skills and ideas, we can better serve our customers and achieve our goals. We ensure a working environment that is free from discrimination. We have established a Diversity Council across all geographic regions which meets regularly to evaluate our progress in promoting an inclusive company culture.
The Women in Leadership program actively promotes the development of female leaders within Schindler and aims to increase the number of women in management positions. During the program, participants work with their line managers and an executive coach from Schindler’s senior management to build and work towards their individual development goals.
The program aims to build a more inclusive leadership profile and is one of the pillars of the Group's diversity agenda. The 11-month program is designed to develop female role models and ultimately increase the proportion of women in leadership positions.
So far, the Women in Leadership program has been initiated in Europe, North America, Latin America and parts of Southeast Asia. We will continue to expand the program and it will be rolled out progressively worldwide.
In 2018, we had 19% women in our leadership pipeline. Within our pipeline of candidates for leadership positions, we want to increase the proportion of women to 25% by 2022 and in addition we want to provide a work environment where our employees find the right balance between their professional commitments and personal interests. As a global company, we address diversity in all its forms. Gender diversity has been identified as an immediate objective and we intend to expand the scope of our initiatives.
Schindler wants to continuously improve diversity and inclusion with concrete actions aiming to provide employees with a work environment where they can be themselves, irrespective of sexual orientation. On this journey, Schindler Switzerland received the Swiss LGBTI* Label, which was developed by two prominent Swiss LGBTI* associations, Network and Wybernet, and uses a standardized questionnaire to evaluate organizations' level of openness and inclusivity. This is a great way to learn about strengths and weaknesses in LGBTI* inclusion, and where to focus attention in the future.
Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, we will use the feedback from the Swiss LGBTI* Label to continue work on the inclusion of the LGBTI* community. Based on this, particular areas of focus include improving the inclusion of transgender and intersex, incorporating rainbow families in Human Resource policies, prevention of discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, as well as LGBTI* partnerships and communication.
More than any other factor, it is the know-how, skills, competence and dedication of our people which will play a deciding role in the Group's success in the market place. We offer development opportunities across all areas of our business in order to continuously enhance our employees’ skills and strengthen their motivation. Schindler’s Management Resource Planning Program is designed to provide suitable development opportunities for people within our company.
A Group-wide certification program for installation and service technicians provides our people in the field with regular training. In 2018, Schindler’s service technicians underwent 9.8 days of technical and safety training on average, representing a 26% increase from 2017. This compares to our target of five days of training for installation and service technicians provided by our certification program. Trainings are offered in more than 30 languages to ensure the best results.
Our Schindler Career Development Program (SCDP) is designed to ensure that we have a pipeline of talented employees with the potential to assume a leadership role within the company. The Schindler SCDP is a six-year, on-the-job management training program that gives young professionals the chance to rise to top positions – international perspectives and professional guidance included.
Furthermore in 2016 a Talent Management and Organizational Development department was established. It identifies talents, makes them visible to senior management, and ensures that their future development is carefully planned.
More than any other factors, it is the skill, expertise and professionalism of our employees that ultimately determine Schindler’s success in the marketplace. We treat all our employees with respect and offer them a stimulating working environment in which they can thrive.
To help achieve these goals, Schindler introduced a global people strategy that provides managers and HR professionals with clear guidance on areas such as employee safety and health, people development, employment and motivation, work-life balance and remuneration.
Three Schindler companies won top employer awards for their employee engagement initiatives. In Germany, Schindler received the Top Employer Award in 2018 for the eighth time since 2008, while Spain won the award for the tenth consecutive year. Schindler South Africa won the top employer award for the first time in 2018.
In Australia, Schindler was also recognised as Employer of Choice at the 2017 Australian Business Awards.