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For Henkel, Diversity & Inclusion is the connecting key between our employees worldwide and our strategic priorities. We regard them as crucial factors for success in leveraging our potential. As a globally operating company, Henkel employs people from over 120 nations in more than 75 countries. Over 80 percent of our employees work outside Germany, and more than half of them in emerging markets. The success of our vision—to be a global leader in brands and technologies—is built on a strong global team and our diverse workforce. We believe that a company culture focused on diversity and inclusion is the key driver of creativity, innovation and invention. Our ability to deliver excellent results is fueled by and dependent on our ability to embed Diversity & Inclusion in our corporate culture and the way we do business.
“Our diverse workforce and inclusive company culture are key factors for our global success. They enable us to leverage our knowledge, creativity and diverse experiences in order to turn good ideas into great innovations.”
Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources
Diversity & Inclusion is a business imperative and strategic priority for our company. That is why we actively promote it among our employees, raise awareness and foster an environment that welcomes and embraces different perspectives, cultures and diversity of thought.
Diversity & Inclusion is firmly anchored in our corporate culture. It is not only an approach to meet the needs of increasingly diverse markets and stakeholders through providing creative and innovative products, services, and solutions. But it is also a company commitment to support an inclusive culture and management practice to leverage our full potential. For us, it is crucial that our leaders know and understand the commitment to Diversity & Inclusion as well as what is expected of them. This is why we put particular emphasis on strengthening inclusive leadership.
One of our essential targets for 2016 is to strengthen our global team. That means we foster a strong, inspirational and inclusive leadership style, put focus on attracting and developing talents, aim at a strong performance culture, and promote diversity in all our teams. We have a strong commitment to bringing together the right mix in teams from across our global organization. These teams are to match our markets’ and clients’ needs in terms of knowledge, skills and cultural background. We are convinced that diverse teams stimulate innovation and new ways of problem solving; yet they need an inclusive culture and leadership to help them function at their best.
With employees from more than 125 countries, cultural diversity is a well-established part of our daily life at Henkel.
The share of women in management positions has been increased to around 33 percent. This reflects an annual increase of around 1 percentage point in the last ten years.
More than 60 nations in our headquarters
People from 62 nations work together at the headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany.
More than 55% employees from emerging markets
Over 55% of our employees originate from emerging markets which reflects the markets we are operating in.
650 international job rotations
To conduct our global business successfully, international management experience is essential for our managers. The number of international job rotations is thus constantly increasing.
We focus on four strategic priorities:
We will outperform our competition as a globalized company with simplified operations and a highly inspired team.
Diversity & Inclusion is deeply anchored in our strategic priority to inspire our team. With this priority we aim to strengthen our global team and to gain competitive advantage in a highly competitive market environment.
Diversity at Henkel is the variety of talents, mindsets, perspectives, qualities, abilities and attributes of our employees and business partners, which makes Henkel unique and contributes to creativity, innovation and sustainable business success. It is about the individual differences within our company that make us strong and more successful – both visible, e.g. gender, and invisible, e.g. experiences, values, education, sexual orientation or religious background.
"Inclusion" at Henkel means respecting all visible and invisible differences to gain a competitive business advantage and create an equitable, healthy and high-performing organization in which all individuals feel valued and their contributions are appreciated.
Inclusion enables a multifaceted mix of people to complement each other in cohesive, high-performing teams. It is important to remember that inclusiveness is not about treating people the same, but about recognizing and appreciating all sorts of both visible and invisible differences.
In an inclusive culture, diversity is completely normal. This is the vision we are striving for.
At Henkel we take a holistic approach and embrace all aspects of diversity. Our goal is to strengthen our global team – “One Henkel” – while living a corporate culture of respect and appreciation towards all of our diverse employees, customers and suppliers.
Our mission is to:
Our markets, products and customers are strongly affected by globalization, proven by the fact that they are becoming more and more diverse. Thus, the different backgrounds and diverse abilities of our employees are invaluable for our understanding of our stakeholders and markets.
When we talk about diversity and the valuable differences that each of us brings, we should be aware that not all differences are immediately visible. Each of us is unique and it is this uniqueness that we aspire to capture.
Our diversity wheel exemplifies what this means, and how our measures and actions move us towards our mission to create “One Henkel”.
At Henkel, we strive for a balanced workforce in terms of gender, different generations and cultural backgrounds. There are many more dimensions that define us as individuals, such as educational background, family and relationships, mindset or personal experiences. But only considering all individual properties of our employees we completely embrace our diversity.
Our measures to strengthen our global team and to become “One Henkel” range from work-life flexibility, personal career and development planning, mentoring to diversity and inclusion consulting.
Hence, the essential efforts within our diversity and inclusion approach are on the mindset change towards an open and inclusive company culture that values all differences as well as similarities and where all our employees are treated with dignity, respect and appreciation.
Diversity & Inclusion makes business sense. As globalization increases, demographics and lifestyle change, we need to reflect these developments affecting our workforce and our external stakeholders. We believe that embracing diversity opens up a wealth of opportunities. The diversity of our employees, their backgrounds, knowledge and expertise makes the difference in a highly competitive, international environment. By profiting from the creativity, knowledge and international mentality of our employees, we are able to come up with new approaches and transform good ideas into successful innovations. This enables us to build strong, synergistic relationships with our consumers, customers, suppliers and colleagues.
Studies, e.g. by Catalyst or McKinsey, demonstrate that diverse organizations are better performing, more profitable and more powerful and that customers, employees and suppliers have greater loyalty to businesses that seek to be more representative of the communities they serve. Diversity & Inclusion does lift employee engagement and continually increases our value for our people and customers. Thus the business case for having a diverse workforce is compelling: Enterprises that appreciate and effectively manage diversity and inclusion will clearly take the lead with regards to their employees, their war for talents and their competition.
Leading inclusively is in our key focus. Leading means inspiring, by respecting and embracing everyone’s unique skills and perspectives. Inclusive leaders create a culture where everyone has a voice, and that voice is truly valued and respected.
We strive for a company culture where everyone is responsible for their own inclusive behavior. When we ignite enthusiasm, motivation, respect and commitment we are more successful. This leads to greater innovation, diversity of thought and creativity and therefore to a higher performing team.
Actions speak louder than words. Our global programs and initiatives are testament to our commitment to a diverse and inclusive working environment. Whether it is about flexible working, career development, training and consultancy, employee resource groups, childcare, eldercare, or employee well-being – you can learn more about what we do below.
Henkel recognizes the importance of Work-Life Flexibility in enhancing performance, motivation, productivity and efficiency on a sustainable basis. We are aware of the challenges employees may face in combining their personal and professional commitments. Our goal is to enable a work environment that delivers the right tools and flexibility to suit the various needs. For us, a trust-based approach with focus on performance and not on presenteeism is the way to create both excellent business results and personal flexibility. Some of the types of flexible working models we offer include: home office, part-time, compressed workweek, mobile working and job sharing.
Our Management Board expressed their commitment to flexible working when signing the Charter of Work-Life Flexibility in 2012. We expect our leaders to support flexible working at Henkel as part of their responsibilities. Since flexible working arrangements play a crucial role for virtually all life stages and professions, we are open for individual flexible solutions that serve the proactive design of work-life flexibility for our employees.
A major focus of our talent management is our Triple Two philosophy: Throughout their careers, talents gain experience in at least two job roles in two different countries and in two business fields.
Our Triple-Two Career Development Program begins to develop our future leaders from the very start of their career. In a global organization, it is important that we have employees who are business and culture savvy, adapting quickly to new environments, are open minded, culturally sensitive, and great communicators. Our program is structured around two countries, two business units and two areas of responsibility.
We offer a variety of training on Diversity & Inclusion topics aimed at transferring knowledge about diversity and educating our employees about the importance of inclusive behavior. Major fields are e.g. to increase the understanding and awareness of different cultural attributes or to identify and counteract bias in decision-making. Employees benefit from a variety of vocational training, eLearning, coaching or classroom training. Our aspiration: Life-long learning – on-the-job, in training, from your peers or digitally on the screen.
Henkel's success is determined by the knowledge and skills of our employees. Continuous employee development and associated life-long learning are therefore highly important. In addition to day-to-day learning in the workplace, our employees also spend an average of two days a year attending training courses for professional and personal development. Our aspiration is life-long learning: on the job, in training, from your peers or digitally on the screen.
Dialog is important to us! We communicate on relevant diversity and inclusion topics and events via different communication channels within and outside the company. As opinion formers we ensure that our messages have global appeal and that our campaigns and tools are ahead in terms of innovation and creativity.
The global Diversity & Inclusion team and their regional and local experts offer structured and bespoke expertise & consultancy to the business units across all regions. We work in partnership with the business to really understand their perspectives and consult with them to ensure powerful, effective and lasting outcomes. Our teams are encouraged to deeply root openness for diversity as well as inclusive behavior within our company. On the other hand, we foster exchange and initiate sharing of expertise with external parties, such as universities, diversity experts or peer groups and enterprises.
“Inclusion starts with i”. This was the motto of our global Diversity & Inclusion communication campaign taking place in 2014. Our diversity unites us. Diversity exists in every region, in every country and in every team.
Diversity is not only about gender, but also about nationalities, seniority, cultural and religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, values and mindsets. All these factors build the foundation for an inclusive company culture. If individual differences complement each other well within a team and if every single employee is appreciated, real inclusion can be achieved. Our diverse workforce and inclusive company culture are key factors for our global success. We aspire to create a company culture where the appreciation of differences – meaning inclusion – is inherent in the way we treat each other.
The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness for Diversity & Inclusion, to foster an inclusive company culture and to get our employees emotionally involved into the topic.
Additionally, the campaign was rounded off by the Global Diversity Weeks. The goal of those weeks which were fully packed with virtual and local events, activities and initiatives was to offer our employees the unique chance to experience Diversity@Henkel.
The campaign conveyed in a very creative and emotional way that every single one of us is responsible for living Diversity & Inclusion at Henkel, and that it is necessary and beneficial for all that inclusive behavior becomes part of our company culture. The goal is to see every single person as an individual and to appreciate everyone‘s individual characteristics. The outstanding pictorial language that was used during the campaign was created by the artist Guido Daniele. He used images of hands and fingers to express our Diversity, but also our connection through Inclusion: 80% of all communication is nonverbal, 55% consist of physical gestures and facial expressions. Hand gestures often express our most immediate and most obvious thoughts, i.e. through waving, pointing at something or by showing welcome. We use our hands when we argue, when we discuss and when we talk, sometime even without thinking about it. The same gestures can also have an important meaning in different cultures and are therefore interpreted differently. Being aware of that, respecting that we behave differently and also taking the right conclusion is very important – especially when working in a global team.
Our employees' health is crucial to us. This is why we care about the health and performance capabilities of our employees. All around the globe we offer various kinds of health services and preventive programs to guard against workplace-related risks and to support all employees in staying fit. Our healthcare programs are tailored to meet local requirements and include free medical consultation, health screening, health workshops, fitness programs, ergonomic assessment or specialist coaching.
Work and family are inextricably linked. Henkel provides a number of services to support employees with children in combining personal life and career aspirations. Such measures include e.g. day nursery facilities, emergency childcare, voucher schemes or flexible working arrangements.
Taking care of relatives in need can become a central aspect of everyone’s life. We are committed to supporting our employees when they are facing such situations and aim to offer consultancy by our local support team or employee assistance programs. This could be by providing a change in work arrangements like flexible working or any other practical guidance and consultancy through one of our social services team or local employee assistance programs.
Coming together, exchanging views, insights and experiences are key to fostering respect and inclusion. We encourage employees to form resource groups that are of mutual benefit to both the employees and our company. Our affinity groups, both global and local, are open to everyone and connect colleagues with a shared interest. They offer a platform for sharing experience, providing mentoring and gaining insights. At Henkel, we have a variety of employee resource groups including those interested in female leadership, expatriate working, parenting, internships, and ethnic minorities.
Our commitment for Diversity & Inclusion has been honored internationally several times. Take a look at our latest awards and recognitions.
Henkel has been recognized as one of China’s Top 100 Ideal Employers as selected by Chinese university students. The award, China Top 100 IDEAL™ Employers 2013, is a result of a nationwide survey by Universum, a global employer branding company.
With its “DiversCity” Prize granted for the 4th time in 2014, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry honors outstanding projects in the field of Diversity Management as a means of strengthening corporate understanding of this issue for the future. Henkel CEE was granted this prize in the category “Ethnic Economies”.
Henkel Technologies Korea was awarded the honor of the prize at the award ceremony for “2013 Great Places to Work for Korean Women” hosted and selected by Great Work Place Korea. GWP Korea’s selection of “Great Places to Work for Women” is a system established in order to encourage women to join the workforce and help provide opportunities for them by creating environments where women can make contributions for organizational success, thereby making an impact in further advancement and maturing of Korea’s corporations.
In 2013, Henkel MEA has won the “Most Women-Friendly Employer in Middle East” Award at the 5th Annual Women in Leadership Forum Middle East and Africa, held end of May in Dubai. The award honored Henkel MEA for its contribution to support women’s empowerment and its role in developing their skills through several growth opportunities.
In 2013, Henkel Argentina was included in the ranking of the 150 Best Employers in the country, developed by the prestigious Apertura magazine. The study that was the base for the award highlighted the companies with the most innovative HR practices.
Henkel in Mexico has been awarded the Great Place to Work certification, based on an analysis conducted on the employees, from the Great Place to Work Institute.
In 2013, Henkel in the United States has been named one of the “Top 50 Employers” in Workforce Diversity for Engineering & IT Professionals from the Workforce Diversity magazine.
We are globally engaged in external initiatives and partnerships to foster the mutual exchange on Diversity & Inclusion. Thereby we show our commitment to our social responsibility and the respect we have towards differences as well as similarities. Find an excerpt here:
Following a supervisory Board Meeting with 140 executives at the regional headquarters, Kathrin Menges (Executive Vice President Human Resources) and Günter Thumser (President of Henkel CEE) signed the Diversity Charter on behalf of Henkel Austria.
IMS is an organization in France partnering with Henkel that promotes Corporate Social Responsibility, a healthy working environment, diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusive business behavior.
The German Diversity Award was implemented in 2011, rewarding individuals as well as companies with respect to their commitment to Diversity in the workplace. Henkel is one of its initiators and partners.
Since the establishment of the Charter of Diversity in 2006, more than 1300 companies and institutions have confessed to the contents of the Charter. Henkel was one of the first companies that has committed itself to the Charter and is a founding member of the association which continues the initiative as a charitable organization since 2011.
Working together with the service provider “Más Vida Red” (More Life Network), Henkel in Spain develops a program comprised of various training courses and service and support activities related to family and work of Henkel employees.