Ernst Ulmer, head of personnel, picked the first woman who was hired at Bosch. Her name is unknown, but we do know that she started work as a typist and stenographer on March 1, 1905.

The event was a noteworthy one on two counts. It was now possible to dictate letters, thereby speeding up work processes – and for the first time, there was a female employee at Bosch. However, she apparently failed to live up to her colleagues’ expectations, being neither as young nor as charming as they had hoped.

One would have never required these characteristics from a male at that time. Indeed, she soon earned a reputation as being difficult to work with. This was also due to the lady herself and not only because her colleagues expected special female virtues.

At the end of the same month, she was released from her post, and her career at Bosch was over. Despite this shaky start, female workers were in demand at Bosch from then on. Ernst Ulmer found a replacement for his first appointment in a certain Ms. Ruckhaberle, a hard-working and likeable woman from the Stuttgart suburb of Bad Cannstatt.

Plenty of women followed in her footsteps, though the numbers fluctuated until the 1950s. The proportion of women experienced a particular increase during the first and second world wars, as women replaced the men who had gone to the front.

Today, women make up 25 percent of the company’s global workforce and 16.5 percent of executives.


Do you want to know more about diversity at Bosch? Have a look here:


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