We appreciate the diversity that our employees bring to our workforce in terms of their gender, national or ethnic background, sexual orientation, religion, or personal life experience. We are committed to an inclusive culture in which each individual can develop their full potential and contribute their individual perspectives. We deeply believe that a diverse workforce and a respectful corporate culture are indispensable for our ability to innovate and that they contribute significantly to our business success.
Our diversity strategy
Our Chief Diversity Officer is responsible for strategic management with regard to the topics of diversity and inclusion. In addition, all the business sectors and larger Group functions have active leadership teams that implement our diversity and inclusion strategy in their respective area of responsibility. A committee with responsibility for diversity – the Diversity Council – is composed of high-ranking managers from all the business sectors and selected Group functions. The work of the committee focuses on advancing our diversity strategy, which involves two key areas. First, we aim to promote the advancement of women into leadership positions and give talented people from the Asian region greater opportunities. Secondly, we aim to develop a better understanding of this growth market. The focus has recently been expanded to include LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and other gender identities), disability and ethnic background as additional dimensions, with activities in North America and Europe concentrating in particular on the topic of ethnicity.
At the same time, our other goals remain unchanged: We aim to recruit people representing a breadth of qualifications, skills, and experiences. In order to foster exchanges among like-minded individuals, we also support the specific employee networks in which several thousand of our employees participate. As well as our women’s networks in various countries, we support networks that promote the interests of the LGBTQI+ community, employees from different ethnic groups and international employees, for example. In China, Generation Now is a network for young people that provides them with access to mentoring and innovation projects. Our Carer network brings together employees from all over the world who care for a relative. In addition, we organize regular events to mark occasions such as our Diversity Days, International Women’s Day, Pride Month, Coming Out Day, and Black History Month, where we discuss current developments that are particularly relevant to us.
We also raise awareness of unconscious bias throughout the Group. We help executives to identify and reassess these thought patterns in their daily encounters as well as in decision-making processes and to bring about long-term changes in their own behavior in this regard. We also use the Job Analyzer, an online tool that allows job advertisements to be checked for critical wordings prior to their publication, to foster gender-neutral communication with those applying for jobs.
In Germany, we have signed the Charta der Vielfalt (Diversity Charter), the Charta der Gleichstellung (Equal Opportunity Charter), and the Inclusion Action Plan of the German Mining, Chemical, and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE). At an international level, we support the Women’s Empowerment Principles, an initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact aimed at empowering women in the workplace. We are also a member of the Business Coalition for Equality Act, a group of leading employers in the United States that supports the Equality Act. By joining these initiatives, we underscore our commitment to fairness and tolerance in the workplace.
Different aspects of diversity
As a global employer with intercultural expertise, people from a total of 141 nations work for our company; 21% of our employees are German citizens, and 77% of our employees work outside Germany. At our headquarters in Darmstadt, 11% of staff are not German citizens.
Women currently account for 43% of our workforce. However, the ratio of women to men varies widely across the different regions, businesses, and functions. We are therefore working to raise the proportion of women wherever they are underrepresented, taking into account the situation typical for the industry as well as regional differences.
Demographic change is posing challenges to society in Germany as well as several other European Union countries, the United States, China, and Japan. The average age of our employees is approximately 42. We assume that this figure will continue to rise in the coming years and are preparing for this situation. As part of our range of Health and Well-Being offerings, we specifically promote our employees’ physical and psychological well-being throughout their entire career.
Understanding our employees
We want to create a working environment that empowers our employees to think outside of the box and find new solutions, opening the door to creative ideas and the discovery of new market opportunities. In order to promote this and to allow us to carry out even better comparisons both within the company and with our competitors, we conduct Group-wide employee engagement surveys every year. In this way, we ensure a regular exchange between employees, leaders, and senior management. The honest feedback we receive from staff shows us whether the measures and initiatives specified here are successful and highlights areas where we can improve further.
In October, the global employee engagement survey was again conducted in 21 languages and the status of implementation was reviewed. Around 50,500 employees (86%) took part. In the midst of the pandemic, our Group-wide score, which indicates how attached our employees feel to the company, was actually three percentage points higher than in the previous year at 77%. In addition, regular snapshot surveys have been conducted during the peak phases of Covid-19 to determine the mood of employees in light of the changes in their working situation. The results are used to identify strategic focus areas and feed into company-wide work on an ongoing basis.
* The contents of this chapter or section are voluntary and therefore not audited. However, our auditor has read the text critically.