Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity

In 2015, WACKER started a groupwide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and also signed Germany’s nationwide Diversity Charter. 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. Our focus in 2018 was on inclusion, a topic that Germany’s Diversity Day also highlighted from multiple perspectives. Following on from Diversity Week 2017 in Munich and Burghausen – which featured a variety of talks and campaigns relating to the topic – Diversity Day 2018 was in turn received very well. In Burghausen alone, almost 500 employees attended a talk by a guest speaker who is a former competitive athlete and has been paraplegic since a training accident. In Munich, there was a presentation on the topic of universal design – the barrier-free design of everyday items – and interested employees from Nünchritz were able to follow the proceedings live and were likewise able to test objects that make life easier for people with disabilities.

In 2018, the Bavarian Ministry of Social Affairs awarded WACKER its “Inclusion in Bavaria – We Work Together” emblem. This Bavarian government citation recognizes employers who contribute significantly to the inclusion of persons with disabilities into working life. WACKER’s goal is a prejudice-free work environment, where every employee can contribute to the company’s success – and where employees with severe disabilities or with an equivalent status are integrated over the long term.

Alongside inclusion, diversity management at WACKER focuses on all dimensions of diversity. People from 67 different nations work for WACKER. At the end of 2018, 37 out of a total of 172 members of executive personnel (OFK) groupwide were of non-German nationality – which corresponds to 21.5 percent of the total. Overall, 15 nationalities were represented at the executive level.

Proportion of Women in Executive Positions

In 2018, both the shareholder representatives and employee representatives appointed two women each to Wacker Chemie AG’s Supervisory Board.

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 currently no regular new appointments planned. Under these circumstances, the target set by the Supervisory Board for the proportion of women in the Executive Board for the period up to June 30, 2022, 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.

Proportion of women: Our target value for the proportion of women in the first level of management is a minimum of 16 percent. For the second level of management, we have set a goal of reaching a proportion of women of at least 18 percent. The implementation period for this ends on December 31, 2019. Our previous goal had been to increase the proportion of women in the first level of management from 8 percent to at least 10 percent by mid-2017, and for the second level of management from 14.5 percent to 17.5 percent. We achieved both of these targets and clearly exceeded the one for the first level of management. These goals are ambitious, given the fact that there are currently few 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 view human diversity as an asset. We oppose discriminatory or derogatory treatment on the basis 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. Complaints are investigated and the reporting party informed of the outcome. We do not keep a log of discrimination cases.

We require all employees at our German sites to complete an e-learning course to familiarize themselves with the country’s General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). 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.

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 2017 and 2018, as not every subsidiary achieved the 5-percent target. 89 percent of employees with severe disabilities or with an equivalent status at WACKER Germany are on the standard pay scale. The average age of these WACKER employees is 52.3. In 2017 and 2018, the Burghausen site took on five disabled young people as trainees. The same number were given a steady job at WACKER on completion of their training program.

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 (website in German only) – 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 “Lebenshilfe Riesa e.V.” (website in German only) sheltered workshop (a charity for people with learning disabilities) 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 with 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







Of whom female







Female employees, groupwide (%)














Employees, WACKER Germany







Of whom non-German







Non-German employees, Germany (%)














Third-level management employees (FK3), groupwide







Of whom female







Women in third-level management, groupwide (%)














Executive personnel (OFK), groupwide1







Of whom 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 – 82.5 percent in 2018 – 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. A similar situation exists in other WACKER regions, such as China and the USA, where we 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.

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 (website in German only) held throughout Germany.

In order to promote young female management talent, an in-house WACKER initiative established a mentoring program for women. The sixth round of this program kicked off in the summer of 2018. Here, mentee and mentor are matched up and then regularly exchange experiences and learn from one another. They are supported by guidelines covering topics such as a motivational plan and measurement of personal success.

We have set a goal to significantly increase the proportion of women in middle and upper management positions in 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.