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LANXESS launched the "Diversity & Inclusion" initiative in 2011. This underscores the company's intention to promote equal opportunity and work/life balance in the traditionally male-dominated chemical industry.
LANXESS interprets diversity as an optimal mix of nationalities, cultures and life experience. At present, the company's senior management - the level below the management board - represents 16 nations. Only a company that is diversified in this way can understand global markets. Inclusion describes an organization, which values and utilizes this diversity by actively developing and supporting the skills of all its different employees.
In a first project phase, a global analysis examined how diverse the company is in terms of the gender, nationality and age of its workforce. Around one third of LANXESS employees in Germany are below the age of 40.
"The long-term implementation of a global diversity and inclusion management system will underscore our attractiveness as an employer, create equality of opportunity and bring the company both strategic and financial benefits," said LANXESS Labor Director and Management Board Member Rainier van Roessel.
30 projects initiated worldwide
Numerous human resources processes have been reviewed and extended as part of the LANXESS Management Board initiative. A total of 30 projects are being coordinated and supported worldwide.
One example of these is the Senior Trainee Program launched in early November. Unique in Germany, this project involves 13 highly qualified women and one man who, with the support of LANXESS, are returning to employment after a long period spent raising a family. The program lasts 18 months and, alongside actual work tasks, includes personal support from an experienced mentor, individual coaching for the duration of the program and customized training measures.
Proportion of women in mid-level and upper management to increase to 20 percent by 2020
LANXESS is introducing a global corporate target for the medium term to increase the proportion of women in mid-level and upper management. This voluntary undertaking should lead to around 20 percent of these positions being held by women by 2020. The figure currently stands at just under 15 percent. Overall, women account for 18 percent of the global headcount of 17,100.
"With our ambitious and very specific target, we aim to help more highly-qualified women advance their careers within the company. In light of demographic change, our initiative will make a contribution to equal opportunity," explained LANXESS Management Board Chairman Axel C. Heitmann. The company, a member of Germany's DAX 30 benchmark index since the end of September, thus joins its stock market peers, which committed voluntarily to adopting the German government's flexible quota in October 2011.
Care leave concept introduced
As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, LANXESS is one of the first companies in Germany to introduce a care leave concept. Since spring 2012, the company provides its employees with more time and financial freedom to care for sick family members. It also offers individual counseling to these employees. This support is tailored flexibly to employees' individual needs.