Our success derives from our employees – from their pioneering spirit, curiosity and diversity. As an attractive employer, we support them in their development and promote an inclusive company culture.

Progress requires people, innovation requires diversity

We work to achieve technological progress that benefits us all – and we’ve been doing that for more than 350 years. This would not be possible without our employees. Their expertise, scientific curiosity and ideas make us successful – and ensure our competitiveness and future viability. In order to attract, promote and retain talent, responsible entrepreneurship is a must. It creates fundamental values for how we interact and work with one another at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. As a global company, a respectful, tolerant and cosmopolitan working environment is a matter of course. We firmly believe that diversity and equal opportunities are the foundation of our innovative strength. In addition, we promote individual career paths and focus on a culture of lifelong learning. And last but not least, we have a special duty of care for our employees. Their health and safety are our top priority.

Life is colorful – We are, too!

  • 58K

    The curiosity and passion of our employees contributes to our success.

  • 141

    Living diversity: People from 141 countries work for us.

Developing our employees

The career paths our employees can pursue with us are as individual as our employees – in line with their ambitions, abilities and talents. As a company, our success relies on the curiosity, courage and inventiveness of our employees. This is why we want to attract, promote and retain talent.  

This is evident in the “people dimension” of our “Unite for Growth” strategy, where we speak of curious talent, empowered leaders, and results-oriented teams and networks. We support their personal and professional development in line with their strengths, ambitions and competencies, thereby laying the groundwork for an enriching and challenging career with our company.

The personal development of all our employees is based on three cornerstones:

  1. Performance and potential management process: giving and receiving regular feedback and agreeing individual goals
  2. Annual development plans: developing and designing development measures together
  3. Advanced training management:  maintaining a wide range of training and continuing education programs  

Good managers are a key success factor

Good managers give our talent the space to reach their full potential, to develop themselves and come up with new ideas. That is why we place great importance on the continuing education and training of our people managers.  

We have developed special programs to strengthen their competencies. These impart leadership basics, successful change management skills and expertise for successful international cooperation. We have developed special programs to strengthen their competencies. These impart leadership basics, successful change management skills and expertise for successful international cooperation.  

The basis of our cooperation is a good working environment. We foster this through fair and respectful interaction with one another. We do not allow discrimination, physical or verbal harassment and intolerance at the workplace. We respect human rights worldwide and are committed to fair labor and social standards. Our Social and Labor Standards Policy summarizes the specifications of our Human Rights Charter and our Code of Conduct with regard to labor and social standards.  

Our competency model

Diversity, equity & inclusion

Our employees work together in a spirit of partnership, irrespective of gender and gender identity, color, religion or creed, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, family or marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation. We are deeply convinced that a diverse workforce and an inclusive corporate culture are the foundation of our innovative strength, and thus a key success factor.  

We stand for inclusion and want to give all employees the same opportunities for advancement. For example, increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions is part of our diversity strategy. At the same time, an integrative working environment and an inclusive culture are essential to ensure that all employees feel welcome and respected. We therefore provide targeted support to various employee networks, such as Rainbow networks, the Leaders of Color network as well as women's and carer networks. Through our Unconscious Bias program, our employees learn to become aware of ingrained prejudices and how to eliminate them.   

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Belén Garijo Belén Garijo

An inclusive work environment benefits both our teams and our business. The more we embrace diversity, the better prepared we are to respond to the diverse needs of the patients and customers we serve around the world. At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, this is part of our culture.

Belén Garijo

Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Our employee networks

Women in leadership positions

A safe and healthy workplace

Whether in production, administration or the laboratory: We do everything to protect our employees from accidents and occupational illnesses. Our basic approach to occupational safety and health protection is set out in our EHS Policy (EHS: Environment Health & Safety). Experience shows that most accidents can be avoided by correct behaviors. This is why our EHS managers at our sites are always working towards this. They analyze the conditions at the workplaces and train our employees on workplace hazards and ergonomically correct behaviors. The physical and mental health of our employees is very important to us. We promote this, for example, through special anti-stress or sports programs.

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Continuously low injury rate

  • 1.3

    is our Lost Time Injury Rate


We value the individuality of our employees and take their individual life situations into account. Whether part-time models, working time accounts or sabbaticals: Our employees in many countries can flexibly arrange their working hours and work location. Reconciling professional and family life presents many employees with major challenges. That is why we offer our people numerous possibilities ranging from generous parental leave and childcare to assistance in finding nursing care for family members. For example, we launched the Embracing Carers initiative to raise public awareness of family caregivers and offer targeted support.

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Tips and tricks for working from home

Covid-19: Getting through the crisis flexibly and digitally

Physical distancing rules and protective face masks, working from home and home schooling: The Covid-19 pandemic also poses new challenges for our employees. Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their families. In addition, it is important to ensure the smoothest possible business continuity – for example in vaccine development, which is crucial right now.

We are doing a lot to support our employees in dealing with the pandemic. For example, we offer e-learning and online coaching and have set up a global hotline, which is available around the clock to answer questions. One of our primary aims is to make it easier for employees to reconcile work, childcare and family commitments, as well as to protect employees with high personal health risks.

During the first few months of the crisis, we learned one particularly important lesson: flexible working models and virtual collaboration are more important than ever. We were already well prepared. In many countries, we were able to make use of proven flexible working models, such as our mywork programm and digital work tools.  

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Future ways of working: striving for agility and innovation

Key figures help us to assess how sustainable our company is. They enable us to measure our progress.

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  • Sustainably packaged

    Fabien Thibault heads our sustainable packaging initiative. Discover how curiosity helps us minimize our ecological footprint.

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  • Connecting smart antennas

    Dieter Schroth heads our Smart Antenna business. Discover how Internet from outer space can connect more people, quickly and affordably.

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  • Meat the Future!

    Lavanya Anandan heads our Clean Meat Innovation Field. Discover how this culinary innovation could transform the world’s food supply.

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