11/30/2007, Düsseldorf / Germany

 

The mix that strengthens

 

 
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Name Ernst Primosch
  Corporate Vice President Corporate Communications
Phone +49-211-797-3533
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Name Wulf Klüppelholz
  Corporate Communications, Financial Communications
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  Corporate Communications, Human Resources PR
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Henkel Appoints First Diversity Manager

With 53,000 employees from 110 nations spread over all the world’s continents, Henkel is one of the most internationally aligned German companies. Given this background, diversity management is an important issue at Henkel. Henkel has now appointed its first global Diversity Manager, reporting directly to Kasper Rorsted, Vice Chairman of the Henkel Management Board and Executive Vice President Human Resources. With this newly created position, Henkel intends to strengthen diversity as a strategic factor for success within today’s internationally competitive environment. “Only through the diversity of our employees can we understand the markets of the more than 125 countries in which we are represented by our products. The better we are able to harness diversity, the more successful we will be as a global player,” commented Kasper Rorsted, underlining the importance of this decision.

Diversity management is a concept of corporate stewardship that emphasizes respect for the heterogeneity of a company’s workforce. Coupled with this is the desire to utilize the qualities of every individual to the benefit of all stakeholders. Henkel adopts a holistic approach to diversity, regarding it as an important component of its corporate culture. Henkel is not concerned with meeting certain notional quotas, as positions are filled on the basis of merit alone. Rather, diversity means for the company the creation of heterogeneous teams in which the economic, creative and innovative potential of each individual employee can be developed to the full – mixed groups able to achieve even better performance results.

In 2006, Henkel developed its so-called “Diversity Cockpit”, enabling the most important worldwide statistics on the subject of diversity within the company to be quickly collected and clearly collated and categorized. One example of the kind of information gathered: the proportion of female managers employed at Henkel exceeds 25 percent – and is thus also above the European market average. In addition to gender, the Cockpit also reveals dimensions such as age and internationality in the worldwide managerial structure at Henkel.

At the beginning of the year, Henkel signed the initiative "Diversity as an Opportunity – the Diversity Charter of German Companies,” on the basis of which representatives of Germany’s business world have been supporting the diversity concept.

Diversity Manager appointed
Henkel’s first global Diversity Manager will extend the strategic advantages of the company’s inherent diversity. Her name is Anke Meier and she will be reporting directly to Kasper Rorsted, Vice Chairman of the Henkel Management Board and Executive Vice President Human Resources. Having so far spent eleven years with the company, Meier has gathered significant experience abroad in various international finance-related posts. She was, for example, Henkel’s chief financial officer in the UK and Ireland for one and a half years and, as part of Henkel’s global Audit team, working at many other international sites of the company.

An economist by profession, Anke Meier is delighted to have been entrusted with this new responsibility. “The level of personnel diversity that we have in our own ranks – manifested, for example, in different areas of expertise, cultures and age structures – is enormous. We are committed to supporting our employees in developing their various abilities and skills. We also want to make sure that they know how much we appreciate their individual qualities and distinctive characteristics as important assets for our company. Our aim now is to further develop and strategically deploy these factors of success. The position, newly created at Henkel, is for me both an honor and an exciting challenge.”