Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity

GRI 102-24, GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 202-2, GRI 405-1, GRI 405-2, GRI 412-2

Globalization, demographic change and new regulatory requirements are making diversity and inclusion increasingly important issues. Holding each employee’s skills and dedication in high regard, we are convinced that diversity and inclusion enhance our company’s performance. In 2015, WACKER started a groupwide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce. The company joined the German nationwide Diversity Charter initiative. Since then, WACKER has focused every year on specific topics aimed at making employees aware of the opportunities and challenges associated with a diverse workforce. The focus in 2016 was on the company’s generational mix. The fact is that, in years to come, different generations will be working together some ten years longer than today, making the workforce more heterogeneous in this respect. This is because older employees are staying in the company longer owing to the increase in the retirement age just as younger staff enter the company sooner because of the Europe-wide harmonization of study programs in higher education and, in Germany, the reduced number of school years.

In addition to this issue, diversity management at WACKER is placing greater emphasis on gender and cultural background. People from 69 different nations work for WACKER. At the end of 2016, 43 of a total of 196 executive personnel (OFK) were of non-German nationality – which corresponds to 22 percent of the total. Overall, 17 nationalities were represented at the executive level.

Proportion of Women in Executive Positions

The German statute on equal opportunity for women and men in management that became law on May 1, 2015, has been implemented at WACKER as follows:

Executive Board: While Wacker Chemie AG attaches considerable importance to diversity as regards appointments to the Executive Board, expertise and qualifications remain the principal criteria for such appointments. There are no regular new appointments planned for the next available date (June 30, 2017). Under these circumstances, the target for the proportion of women in the Executive Board for the period up to June 30, 2017, is zero.

Management levels below the Executive Board: WACKER is focusing its attention on the two levels of management below the Executive Board as depicted in the Wacker Chemie AG organizational chart. With regard to the second reporting level, we have also decided to include only managerial employees from the highest above-standard pay scale or those who are OFK executive personnel with responsibility for managing employees.

We have also designated the period up to June 30, 2017, as the reporting period for the two management levels below the Executive Board. Because our numbers are based on the status quo as of June 30, 2015, we will have had a two-year period to observe developments.

Proportion of women: We aim to increase the proportion of women in the first level of management from 8 percent to 10 percent. For the second level of management, we have set a goal of raising the proportion of women from 14.5 percent to 17.5 percent. This goal is ambitious, given the fact that WACKER is a technology-oriented company. As a rule, there are currently fewer women in the scientific-technical professions that are important to WACKER. Furthermore, there is very little staff turnover in Germany, and new appointments to the first and second levels of management are usually the result of employees going into retirement.

Equal Treatment

We thus view human diversity as an asset. We oppose discriminatory or derogatory treatment on account of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation or age. These principles are valid across the WACKER Group and, as part of our corporate culture, are embodied in our Code of Teamwork & Leadership. Employees may report any discrimination to their supervisors, as well as to a compliance officer, the employee council or the designated HR contact person. The complaint will be investigated and the reporting employee will be informed of the results. We do not keep a log of discrimination cases.

We require all employees at our German sites to familiarize themselves with Germany’s General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) by completing an e-learning course. This course is compulsory for all levels of corporate hierarchy, from the Executive Board down to standard-pay-scale employees – all new employees must complete it.

In 2016, WACKER’s Nünchritz site received the “Companies for Tolerance” award for their commitment to an open company culture. The advanced-education and non-profit organization “Arbeit und Leben Sachsen” confers this honor on Saxony-based companies that counteract discrimination and actively promote social issues such as integration, diversity and tolerance. The judges’ decision was swayed by a project organized by the council that represents the interests of trainees. In collaboration with the Network for Democracy and Courage youth charity, this council held a project day entitled “All in Your Head?” during which trainees concerned themselves with racial discrimination, migration, refugees and asylum, as well as various options for courageous action.

Special arrangements are in place to help and promote WACKER employees with disabilities. The company’s integration management program provides for close cooperation between supervisors, employees, HR, employee councils, representatives of employees with disabilities, and Health Services to permit disabled employees to remain in their workplace or to change to a suitable job. This allows us to retain skilled staff, and valuable knowledge acquired over many years remains with WACKER.

Employment / Inclusion of People with Disabilities























Legally required: 5%






Mandatory workplaces (annual average)







Actual workplaces (annual average)







Ratio of actual to mandatory workplaces (annual average, %)







Employees with disabilities as a percentage of total employees, WACKER Germany1







Compensatory levy (€ thousand)












For years, WACKER has employed a higher number of people with disabilities than required by law. Even so, we had to pay a low compensatory levy in 2015 and 2016, as not every subsidiary achieved the 5-percent target. Nine out of ten employees with disabilities at WACKER in Germany are on the standard pay scale. The average age of these employees at WACKER is 52.0. In 2015 and 2016, the Burghausen site took on six disabled young people as trainees. The goal is to give them a steady job at WACKER once they have completed their training program successfully.

WACKER supports physically and mentally challenged individuals who are unable to find work on the general job market, for example by collaborating with workshops for people with learning disabilities. Our Burghausen site, for instance, sources key products from the charitable Ruperti workshops (German-language version only) – ranging from dunnage for securing freight to mounting plates for process engineering. At the Nünchritz site, we have for many years been using the services of the disabled workshop “Lebenshilfe Riesa e.V.” (a charity for people with learning disabilities; German-language version only) for landscaping and garden maintenance. An example of this cooperation in the USA is the Pomona Valley Workshop. Here, the Chino site collaborates with a neighboring organization that offers jobs to individuals having special needs.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity























Executive personnel (OFK) figures exclude inactive employment contracts and the Executive Boards of Siltronic AG and Wacker Chemie AG






Employees, groupwide







Thereof female







Female employees, groupwide (%)














Employees, WACKER Germany







Thereof non-German







Non-German employees, Germany (%)














Third-level management employees (FK3), groupwide







Thereof female







Women in third-level management, groupwide (%)














Executive personnel (OFK), groupwide1







Thereof female







Women as executive personnel, groupwide (%)












In recent years, WACKER has become more international. The company sells products in more than 100 countries around the globe, and most of our sales – 87 percent in 2016 – are generated outside Germany. It follows that we want our management to reflect the global nature of our business. Over recent years, WACKER has increasingly filled leadership positions in its regions with local employees rather than with executives sent there on assignment. The prime criterion for filling executive positions remains qualification. In Germany, the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) forbids the selection of personnel according to origin. In other WACKER regions, such as China and the USA, we also select candidates primarily by qualification.

It goes without saying that we offer equality of opportunity to all employees, regardless of their gender. This approach also applies to compensation. Whether on the standard pay scale, in third-level management (FK3) or among the executive group – men and women who hold the same positions are paid the same. Statistical differences in the average annual salaries of individual employee groups are essentially based on seniority and professional experience. On average, the differences are less than 5 percent in each case.

WACKER would like to increase the number of female executives. For this purpose, we participate in Munich’s Cross-Mentoring Program. To get girls interested in jobs such as chemical technician, industrial mechanic or electronics specialist, we take part in the Girls’ Day event (German-language version only) held throughout Germany.

We have set the goal of significantly increasing the proportion of women in middle and senior management positions over the medium to long term. One of the goals of our talent-management project is to make female management potential visible and to assist these women in their next career step. With its wide range of different working-time models, our life-cycle-oriented personnel policy provides the appropriate framework.