Continental’s Leadership Diversity Key to Strength in North America

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Source: Continental announcement

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Continental believes success starts with people. To create development opportunities for all employees, the technology company has built a worldwide culture that emphasizes diversity and lifelong learning. Two employees that embody Continental’s commitment to people are helping lead the way in North America:

Ina Seterbakken
  • Ina Seterbakken is the plant manager leading the company’s new Aguascalientes plant from construction to its opening in 2021. The electronic plant will support Continental’s Connected Car Networking business unit. Prior to joining Continental, Seterbakken was a three-time Norwegian champion figure skater. She joined the company as a part of its Integrated Apprenticeship Degree Program. The competitive program offers participants a unique learning experience working with various global business units. Seterbakken first visited Mexico as one stop in the program. Today, the global experience she gained in the program is proving invaluable.
  • Vyola Fisher is the plant manager for the Periferico plant, located in Guadalajara, a facility with more than 18 years of history supporting the company’s Vehicle Networking and Information business area. She started the position earlier this year after working in several roles in Germany for about three years. Most recently, she was the Head of Manufacturing Innovations, leading the company’s efforts in Industry 4.0 strategic projects and advanced robotics. In addition to her global experience working in different countries, Fisher has worked in a number of business units across Continental from new product launches to industrial engineering.
Vyola Fisher

“Diversity is key to innovation. It is the catalyst for everything we do,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “Through diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, we gain the benefit of different ways of looking at our business. Ina and Vyola both bring unique ideas from distinct backgrounds, which is critical in order to remain competitive in today’s global environment.”

Related post:
Continental Board Approves Reorganization Plan

Seterbakken is Continental’s youngest plant manager in North America. She has been coordinating development of the new Aguascalientes plant beginning with construction. Under her leadership, the plant has been steadily progressing toward its scheduled opening next year despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally from Mexico, Fisher recently spent more than three years on an international assignment in Germany. There, she served as the Head of Central Electronic Plant Operations, where she was responsible for defining operational standards and related strategic projects in 29 automotive electronic plants across three continents. She also developed strategies for smart equipment and advanced robotics as the Head of Manufacturing Innovations. Now back in Mexico, Fisher leads the Periferico plant.

Continental knows that its growth and innovations depend on a strong, diverse global team. The company has developed several initiatives to attract top tech talent and become the employer of choice among diverse career-seekers.

“We continuously work to enhance our diversity efforts throughout the organization. A part of this is our commitment to develop and invest in diverse talent that helps expand and drive our company forward,” said Rick Ledsinger, Senior Vice President, Human Relations, Continental North America and Tire the Americas. “People with different lifestyles and backgrounds challenge each other more – and the organization needs that. We recognize that diversity is a source of creativity and innovation and we are committed to creating opportunities for all employees to advance their careers with us.”

From company-sponsored online courses to in-person training, Continental creates opportunities for employees to build skills in new areas. It has also been recognized for its commitment to employees, including as the only manufacturing company to make this year’s prestigious Fortune Magazine 18 Best Big Companies to Work For™ and a certified official Great Place to Work.

Additionally, the company was recognized by Fairygodboss as one of the Best Companies for Women for the second consecutive year. Continental is also among the top 100 on the Forbes America’s Best Employers list and named a Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes. These honors motivate Continental to work even harder toward strengthening its position as the most attractive and progressive employer.

The entire announcement can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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