"Chemnitz is neither grey nor brown" is the name of a campaign by committed Chemnitz citizens, entrepreneurs and scientists who are committed to peaceful coexistence and a diverse and tolerant society. The Bechtle IT system house in Chemnitz also belongs to this alliance.
For managing director Sebastian Vogel, the decision to join the movement was an easy one. “We carry the name of our city and are deeply rooted here. The incidents of early September have painted a picture of Chemnitz that we cannot support. That’s why it is important to us to show that Chemnitz is a colourful and open-minded place—neither grey nor brown. The name of the campaign is spot on.”
“Chemnitz is neither grey nor brown” is sponsored by the Industrieverein Sachsen 1828 e.V. and “Kreatives Chemnitz”, the Branchenverband der Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Chemnitz und Umgebung e.V. Its supporters are active against hate, violence, intolerance and a culture of turning a blind eye. Because “that’s what allows the enemies of democracy to flourish”, as the campaign website says.
“I’d learned about the campaign at an event of “Chemnitz zieht an” and through a speech given by mayor Barbara Ludwig, and had also been approached about it by employees at several occasions. Eventually, the management team decided to join in,” says Sebastian Vogel.
The September incidents had a real impact on the IT systems integrator’s business. Sebastian Vogel: “For instance, it’s become more difficult now to recruit employees from other regions”. The company will not stop at adding its name to a list of supporters. “As soon as we see concrete projects crystalise, we will decide how we will contribute,” says the managing director.
The Chemnitz systems integrator’s commitment for an open and tolerant society ties into the values of the Bechtle Group. Its Code of Conduct states that “No employee may be discriminated against owing to their race, sex, age, nationality, ethnic background, skin colour, political views, sexual orientation, religious convictions, social background, physical constitution or other personal characteristics.” An open embrace of diversity and tolerance.
Bechtle employs people with 70 different nationalities across its sites in 14 European countries. Since 2016, its individual subsidiaries are also committed to integrating and employing refugees, e.g. from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Published on Oct 19, 2018.