Diversity makes enterprises sustainably successful. One key to this is to encourage more women to join the company. A global Endress+Hauser initiative is working on a solution.
The higher up a company’s career ladder you get, the fewer women you’ll find there. The same goes for Endress+Hauser: While three in ten members of staff are women, not even one in 14 managers is female. The Women’s Integrated Network aims to change this: The company wants to make greater use of professional women’s potential through the global initiative, thereby increasing their numbers in management and expert positions in the long term.
Multiple women in leadership positions at the Endress+ Hauser Group launched the initiative together with the Executive Board. In a model project in the US, Endress+Hauser doubled the proportion of women in management to almost a third within four years. “Diversity is crucial to companies,” explains co-initiator Sandra Rubart, Corporate Director of Brand Management and Communications. “The more people with different perspectives get involved, the more robust, agile and innovative organizations become.”
There are no specific guidelines for single companies and locations. “Individual solutions are required because the conditions are different everywhere you go,” says Judith Wenger, who is the Director of Human Resources for various sales companies. The topics are diverse and range from new ways of recruiting female employees and internal mentoring programs to external networking activities such as collaboration with universities.
“We also want to create awareness of this issue,” says Monika Heisterkamp, Marketing Director for Endress+Hauser Liquid Analysis. When she started working for the company 15 years ago, she was the first woman in product management; today, 40 percent of these roles are held by women. With a doctorate in chemistry, she knows what she is talking about: “It is important to have also female role models in the workplace. This encourages other women and makes the company more appealing to female applicants.”
The Women’s Integrated Network, which was launched throughout the Group in October 2019, can look back at a successful start: representatives have been appointed across all sites, local teams have been set up and initial activities have commenced. “This has resulted in energy that is tangible across the entire company, and which will be decisive to the success of our network,” Sandra Rubart states. The corporate culture has already been positively affected: “The initiative has further expanded our internal network,” Judith Wenger explains. “Being able to see how many fantastic women we already have at all levels, and the passion and joy with which they work for Endress+Hauser, is truly inspiring. It shows us how much diversity already exists!”