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Diverse teams drive innovation

Gender diversity is an opportunity for every company and one of our key strategic goals within our 2030 Sustainability Strategy. Here are some great examples from four of our sites.  

Gender diversity throughout the company is an ongoing priority for all Beckers sites.
GRI 103/405
GRI 405 – 1

As a coatings manufacturer, we are especially proud that 39% of our workforce in technical and R&D functions are female. However, we know there is more we can do. We aim to become an inclusive and gender-balanced organization that provides a safe work environment where our diverse workforce can thrive professionally as well as personally. For the last two years, we have therefore been training our HR managers in unconscious bias in recruiting, which creates awareness from the beginning of the hiring process and embeds behaviors that will further level up our gender diversity. We have established regular reporting on gender of our new hires and, in 2021, we will go further and analyze fair pay in all countries. Making further progress toward diversity is an ongoing priority for our top management. We measure and closely monitor our progress and, during the last few years, have achieved some good results. Since 2015, our gender diversity rate has increased by 19% among new hires; in 2020, 40% of all new hires were women.

19%

women in management positions

26%

of all employees are female

40%

of all new hires are female

Beckers US and Beckers UK – Diversity in management

“One of the biggest benefits of having a diverse management team is the variety of viewpoints we access when discussing business challenges. The team here is creating new solutions by looking into the union of several viewpoints rather than taking any one person’s solution.”

Jethro Montzka – Vice President Americas

39%

of our workforce
in technical and
R&D functions
are female

57% female and 43% male – that is the gender balance in the Beckers US management team. When it comes to diversity, gender is not the only metric. Beckers in the US are also supported by a personality profiling tool and are educating themselves about different personality types. Drawing on their wide breadth of experiences and training in self-awareness, the team creates unique solutions to old challenges. Even when a team member may not be a subject matter expert, their perception of a problem can point the way forward. Diverse teams constantly challenge each others’ stories about particular situations. Combined with open-mindedness and an atmosphere that encourages curiosity, excellent outcomes are a natural result. The management team at Beckers UK today consists of five men and three women. Just over three years ago, it was all male. Achieving this balance was a key aim of the company because of its lighthouse effect. Through targeted promotions and recruitment, the team is now more balanced and is benefiting from the advantages that diversity brings. Jared Ireland, Managing Director of Beckers UK, believes that the blend of experience and gender within their management team has promoted collaboration and improved the way we solve problems. "We benefit from the different insights and have been stretched to think more critically and creatively," he says.

“The blend of experience and gender within our management team has promoted collaboration and improved the way we solve problems. We benefit from the different insights and have been stretched to think more critically and creatively.”

Jared Ireland – Managing Director Beckers UK

Beckers Sweden – Diversity in operations

They call it the winds of change in Sweden – it permeates business, society and all of Beckers Sweden. For several years now, we have employed more and more women in operations at our site in Märsta. This mixture is enriching Beckers. Colleagues feel seen and heard for their competence, rather than their gender, and are encouraged to value diversity. The benefits are a better working climate, more empathy and cooperation, and a greater tendency for people to help each other. The management team for  operations in Märsta is 50/50 female and male managers. Production Manager Åsa Mattsson believes that having more women in the Operations team not only benefits the working climate but also improves efficiency and helps in handling conflicts. In the past, the heavy work and working hours might have put women off Operations. Now, heavy lifting is supported by machines and the availability of childcare has opened opportunities for women. What is more, women see the impact other women have, and that makes the job more attractive. As a result, more women have joined Operations.

Beckers Vietnam – Diversity in the lab

Gender diversity is very important in our day-to-day business, not only in management and operations but also in our labs. A good example of this is in our Vietnam business. Lab assistants used to be predominantly male. Today, 55% of the lab assistants at Beckers Vietnam are women. How did this change happen? The local team improved the working environment by, for example, reducing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and educating employees about health and safety. This has removed some of the concerns that women had about the job. In addition, by making changes to the hiring process and granting more flexibility to allow for a better work-life balance, Beckers Vietnam have made the role more attractive to women. Today, work that requires travelling to the customer’s site is allocated to those members of staff who have more flexibility. These measures, together with the improved gender balance, have increased efficiency and reduced staff turnover significantly.

“It’s a big challenge to achieve gender balance. I strongly believe we need to create the environment and change some processes to get an optimal result.”

Desmond Chong – Vice President Malaysia & Vietnam

“We encourage women to apply for the same jobs as men. Competence is the key word, not gender. Having the right attitude and skills is all that matters.”

Andreas Wikström – Operations Director Märsta

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