Mixed-Gender Leadership Teams

“We want to have the best teams, irrespective of the age, gender and nationality of the team members.” Kasper Rorsted, Chairman of the Management Board.

Diversity and Inclusion is firmly anchored in our corporate culture and is a key driver of our business success. We focus on internationality, gender and age. Gender diversity is one important pillar, where we have a leading position.

We have developed the share of women in leadership positions to around 30 percent. We strive to increase this growth rate to an annual average of between 1 and 2 percentage points. We have defined clear and ambitious targets, based on quantitative and qualitative measures. We do not compromise on quality.

Dr. Simone Bagel-Trah became the new Chairwoman of the Shareholders’ Committee of Henkel and Chairwoman of the Henkel Supervisory Board in mid-September 2009. This marked the transition from the fourth to the fifth generation of the Henkel family, with a woman acceding to the leadership role for the first time.

Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership (WiL) is a network of motivated, committed and career-oriented women in leadership positions at Henkel. More than one-third of all the female managers in Germany have now joined this network established in 2006. The WiL members actively promote the establishment of a “Winning Culture” that rewards and challenges women in leadership positions in terms of their ongoing personal and professional development. The network has formed four working groups, each of which is concerned with a number of focal issues. Various mentoring programs have been put in place on the initiative of WiL members.

WoMen’s Networking Day

In addition to regular network meetings such as luncheons and dinner talks, the Women in Leadership network, cooperating with Henkel’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Management, organizes once a year a Gender Diversity event, the WoMen’s Networking Day. Not only female managers but also – for the first time in 2011 – men in top leadership positions are invited to take part in this event covering themes related to gender diversity. In addition to keynote presentations provided by various internal and external speakers, the WoMen’s Networking Day also includes panel discussions and workshops that regularly enable the participants – both women and men – to exchange their thoughts and experiences.

WiL Select* Events

Since the end of 2010, the Women in Leadership network has been regularly organizing WiL Select* events that are either exclusively for the members of the network or for which the members are given a preferential option for registration. The entire bandwidth of issues relevant to a person’s professional career are dealt with in these events.

Cooperation with EWMD and BPW

As the first in-company women’s network, in 2011 Women in Leadership joined with the external women’s networks EWMD (European Women’s Management Development International Network) and the BPW Düsseldorf (Business and Professional Women’s Network) in enabling their members to participate not only in their own WiL Select* events but also in external events of the cross-company networks at standard membership prices.

Diversity Rule

In order to integrate employee diversity in our personnel processes, we have introduced a Diversity Rule that at least one candidate in the last three shortlisted for a vacancy must satisfy at least one diversity criterion.

Girls’ Day

Manufacturing a metal bracelet, soldering a flashing indicator circuit or extinguishing a fire – on Girls’ Day, Henkel opens its doors and provides access to activities traditionally regarded as being in the male domain. The overriding purpose of the initiative is to bring girls into contact with various technical and scientific professions available at the company. We offer apprenticeships in twenty scientific, engineering and commercial fields at our headquarters in Düsseldorf. So there are training opportunities for both girls and boys with an interest in anything from electronics and industrial fabrication to the fire service.


Latest news and recent discussions about Diversity issues can be found on our henkeldiversity.com blog.

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