Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
At Henkel, we believe in the power of uniqueness. We believe in equity and a sense of belonging for people with all their differences – in our societies and our workplace.
The diversity of our employees, their backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and the appreciation of all their individual differences are the foundation for our competitive advantage. We believe that a company culture focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is the key driver of creativity and innovation. Our ability to deliver excellent results is fueled by and dependent on our ability to embed DEI in our corporate culture and the way we do business.
We are strongly committed to building teams that match the needs of the markets we operate in and the clients we work with, represented by a broad range of cultural backgrounds, skills, and knowledge. 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.
Gender Ambition 2025 – Fostering Gender Diversity across Henkel
We back our clear commitment to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization with concrete ambitions and actions.
One core dimension of diversity is gender. We are deeply convinced that gender diversity plays a decisive role when it comes to our success. We also see it as our social responsibility to mirror the gender parity of our global population and provide equal access to opportunities. That is why we have decided to pursue a bold ambition:
We strive to achieve gender parity across all management levels by 2025.
We aim to reach a significant increase of women on our top management levels as well as build the pipeline for future leadership positions on the management levels below.
Overall, we are on a good track and have made considerable progress in recent years, increasing the proportion of women to today 38% across all management positions. However, we also clearly see that even more needs to be done and we are fully committed to significantly accelerate our efforts. Learn more on our approach under our core dimensions gender.
Our Global Facts and Figures (2021)
We strive to create a workplace that mirrors the markets and societies we represent. We have continually increased the representation of our diverse talent in recent years, yet wish to accelerate further. Here is where we stand today:
of women across management levels globally
nationalities working together at Henkel
of our employees originate from Emerging Markets
nationalities working in our headquarters in Düsseldorf
Henkel ERGS worldwide
Our Core Diversity Dimensions and Initiatives
We pursue a holistic approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. For us, diversity stands for the variety of talents, attitudes, perspectives, strengths, skills, and many more characteristics that make each of us unique. While we recognize that all of these individual attributes create our diversity, our strategic initiatives focus on several core dimensions:
Ethnicity and Internationality
Why we care
We are deeply convinced that gender diversity plays a decisive role when it comes to our success. We also believe that it is our social responsibility to provide equal access to opportunities for all genders in the workplace and beyond.
We have recently underpinned our commitment to gender equality with our 2025 Gender Parity Ambition. To reach our ambition, we are further accelerating our programs and measures along the whole employee lifecycle – from recruitment to development and retention. This includes gender inclusive recruitment and talent attraction, a thoroughly monitored promotion and succession plan, intensive internal upskilling on diversity, unconscious bias trainings and inclusion programs, as well as expanding new working formats.
- We believe having a career and a family should be possible for everyone. We support our employees by offering flexible working models. These models include mobile working, part-time and flexible working hours. Another way we help families balance work and family life is by offering childcare and social services. At the Düsseldorf site, there are 240 childcare places in three company daycare center. Also in other countries, we offer or facilitate childcare and other services to support our employees.
- We outline a new concept of Smart Work. We acknowledge our employee’s need for flexibility and a more symbiotic work-life balance. By combing mobile and office work and by offering high flexibility for individual needs, we lay the foundation for the productive work environment of the future – for men and women alike. While some roles will always require working on-site, and others don’t require a physical presence in the office, many positions at Henkel are hybrid. We believe that mobile work should be possible for up to 40% of the work time for hybrid roles. It could also be one week per month. This flexibility contributes to easier integration of work and private life.
- We encourage women to connect. We have several career networks in our business units and regions around the world. Some examples are the internal RISE network, or the Women into science and engineering program in our Adhesive business unit, that connects women with managers in the technology and engineering sectors worldwide to enable the sharing of skills and knowledge.
Why we care
With employees from 124 countries, cultural diversity is already a part of everyday working life at our company. We strive to leverage the richness of experiences from our international workforce and mirror the countries and markets we represent. Only then are we able to understand and meet the needs of our diverse customers and partners.
- We encourages international transfers in our “Triple Two Philosophy.” Triple Two means that in the course of their career, managers are offered the opportunity to gain experience in at least two functions, countries and business units. In a global organization, it is important that we have employees who are business and culture savvy, adapting quickly to new environments, that are open minded, culturally sensitive, and great communicators. Our program is structured around two countries, two business units, and two areas of responsibility.
- We fight bias related to cultures or ethnicities. We offer intercultural training, workshops and trainings on ethnicity bias, to build our skills of collaborating internationally across nationalities and ethnicities.
- In North America, we have expanded our Scholarship and Internship Programs for Black, Hispanic and Indigenous Students. For the past 40 years, Henkel North America has been proud to provide students who have excelled in their studies and proven to be leaders in their communities with support to pursue their educational goals. Recognizing the need for systemic change to address barriers that make it difficult for low-income students of color to pursue higher education, Henkel recently expanded its Scholarship and Internship program for Black, Hispanic and Indigenous students in North America, an over $1 million initiative to support dozens of students with financial support and internship opportunities. In partnership with UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Pathways to Education Canada and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, this initiative is designed so that students from underrepresented communities have an equal chance to succeed.
Why we care
Henkel strives to create a working environment that is open to all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our goal is to allow our employees to advance and realize their full potential while being themselves. As an organization, we do not tolerate any type of discrimination and actively work to ensure our employees' psychological safety.
- We drive LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Partnership with Out Leadership. In 2021, Henkel joined Out Leadership, a global LGBTQ+ business network that offers insights and information on LGBTQ+ topic and key tools for companies and employees to promote equality. Resources and dedicated career programs are available for our LGBTQ+ employees and their allies.
- We encourage our employees to unite and exchange. There are several Henkel LGBTQ+ employee resource groups available that organize a range of events and activities and partner with the Henkel diversity network on strategic initiatives for LGBTQ+ inclusion.
- We speak up. In 2022, we participated in Pride parades in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Amsterdam and Los Angeles as well as several local activities and events.
- We are supporters of the UN Standards of Conduct for Business tackling discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people.
Why we care
At Henkel, we strive to foster a culture of inclusion that focuses on the skills and individual talents of people with disabilities. We strive to make our working environment accessible to all employees, ensuring equal access to opportunities across the entire organization.
- We raise awareness on the topic of disabilities among all employees. In 2021, we marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching a specially developed toolkit that provided important information and practical recommendations on disability inclusion.
- We have regional disability inclusion programs. Through targeted programs, we strive to offer everybody the same opportunities while always focusing on a person's individual strengths rather than their limitations. One representative example of this approach is an integration program at our Global Business Solutions Center in Manila, Philippines, which takes a holistic approach to integrating people with disabilities into the world of work.
- We connect for change. We partner with the NGO Disability:In to further accelerate our journey of disability inclusion globally as well locally in the different regions.
Why we care
In today's dynamic workplace, intergenerational relationships are crucial. We believe that the different perspectives, experiences, and skills of our multigenerational workforce play an active part in our company's success on a global scale.
- We encourage life-long learning. We conduct appropriate training measures across all generations. Specifically, we use mentoring and employee networks in different business units and countries to promote knowledge transfer and an exchange of perspectives between experienced and less experienced employees.
- We offer a wide range of programs for maintaining physical and mental health. Our social services also help to provide support to employees of all generations facing challenges at different stages of their lives such as when they take on responsibility for relatives in need of care.
Henkel is constantly developing new initiatives and activities to accelerate the spread of DEI topics across the whole organization and beyond. Here are some of Henkel DEI projects that motivate and inspire us on our road towards our ambitions:
Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
We encourage our employees to form resource groups as platforms for sharing experience, providing mentoring and gaining insights.
There are 54 diversity-related ERGs across Henkel, addressing a wide range of topics like gender, origin, sexual orientation, and disabilities. Our ERG members come together, exchange insights and experiences and partner with our global DEI network on strategic initiatives to strengthen our inclusive workplace.
Our Partnerships and Memberships
We believe in the power of partnerships. Therefore, we collaborate with a variety of networks, charters, and round tables, to keep learning and applying best practices.
In 2021, Henkel became a member of Out Leadership – a global LGBTQ+ business network that aims to provide global businesses with the tools for innovation and transformation.
In 2022, Henkel joined Disability:IN - a leading non-profit organization for business disability inclusion.
Partnership: Partnership with “IMS”
IMS is an organization in France partnering with Henkel to promote Corporate Social Responsibility – focusing on a healthy working environment, diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusive business behavior.
Voluntary Commitment: Initiator and partner of the German Diversity Award
Since the establishment of the Charter of Diversity in 2006, more than 1300 companies and institutions have committed to the contents of the Charter. Henkel was one of the first companies that committed itself to the Charter and is a founding member of the association which continues the initiative as a charitable organization since 2011.
Partnership with “Más Vida Red”
Working together with the service provider “Más Vida Red” (More Life Network), Henkel Spain developed a program comprised of various training courses, service, and support activities related to family and work of Henkel employees.
Awards and Recognitions
Our commitment for diversity, equity and inclusion has been honored internationally.