Elke Heitmüller with representatives of the national football associations of the DFB. Photo: Volkswagen AG
Volkswagen is discussing with the DFB regional associations more success through diversity and inclusion in football
Dusseldorf, Wolfsburg, September 22, 2022
- Workshop with #soccer foundation as part of the Spobis sports conference
- The campaign #No women’s football for the European Football Championship generates a lot of attention
- #Volkswagen confirms its social commitment in #sports sponsorship
»More women and diversity: the recipe for success in football?!« – Volkswagen discussed this with the 21 regional associations of the German Football Federation (DFB) in SPOBIS. For the third time, Volkswagen organized the program of the largest sports business conference in Europe which was created specifically for the national associations. Among others, Elke Heitmüller, Head of Diversity Management at Volkswagen, and Dominik Durben from the consulting agency Times Are Changing gave lectures. They gave those present important motivations for their work in regional associations. As part of its partnership with the DFB, Volkswagen also maintains a comprehensive exchange on grassroots football, elite football and youth football, which is represented by state associations.
In his presentation, Heitmüller explained that #diversity and #inclusion are important in sports, but also in companies. “Our society is diverse, but there can only be a working solidarity if integration lives and everyone is involved,” said Heitmüller. »The different abilities of people are the reason for success for our company, for sports and for society in general.« At work, as in sport, you must always face obstacles. “That is only possible if I am part of a team that works and is listened to,” explained the former competitive athlete.
Volkswagen has started a social debate
Looking back at the European Women’s Football Championship, which took place in England this summer, Stephan Franssen, Head of Sponsorship and Christoph Adomat, Head of Sports Communications, provided association representatives with an insightful session on the launch of the event. Volkswagen. In addition to the identification campaign. Buzz1, the provocative claim #KeinFrauenfussball was a key element of the campaign. It was shown that men talk about football, but women talk more about women’s football – as if it were a separate sport. “We have given a lot of attention and started a social discussion,” Franssen said. Adomat added: “It’s about raising awareness and overcoming prejudice. We want to help lay the foundation for change and more equality in football.”
Dominik Durben explained in a keynote speech how the pace of #Women’s #EM can also have an impact on amateur football and how more women and girls can be passionate about the sport. »It is very important to find the right way to talk, because it is different for men and boys. For example, it is about organizing a road show and taking women and girls into the country.« According to Durben, lobbying work must also be done in club negotiations so that clubs can get more girls’ teams. “Try to focus on the whole range of tasks you have, ask more concepts from the DFB. They can and should do that,” Durben called on #representatives of state parties.
Funding for a unique successful basketball project
Birgit Wittenberg and Gerd Dräger from Friends of Girls #Vikapu Regio 38 presented their project to look beyond soccer. In 2012, dedicated parents of #basketball players in the area around Braunschweig started a project to build structures to promote female basketball and further develop basketball for girls at a larger and higher level. For success: The Basketball team, in which talent from all over the region is active, has already been two-time German champions in the women’s junior Bundesliga (WNBL). Volkswagen has been involved as a partner since this year.
In a final look, Christoph Adomat emphasized that Volkswagen’s social mission will not end after the successful 2022 Women’s European Championships. “We will continue to step on the gas,” said Volkswagen’s Head of Sports Communications. »It’s about showing perspective and promoting the theme of #diversity through sports as an emotional platform. We all have challenges, including the #DFB and national football associations.”