Bayer is striving to improve the gender balance in management positions. The company has therefore set itself voluntary as well as statutory targets and pursues them consistently.
Bayer AG has set itself the target of appointing at least one female member to the Board of Management by mid-2017. This was accomplished ahead of that deadline with the appointment of Ms. Erica Mann to the Group Management Board effective January 1, 2016.
Under the new legislation, the target for top-level female managers at Bayer AG is 20 percent by mid-2017. The target set for second-level management is 28 percent.
Besides Bayer AG, nine of the Group’s other companies based in Germany (excluding Covestro) are bound by this legislation. At these companies, the proportion of women in the first two levels of management below the Board of Management or Executive Board met the targets as of September 30, 2015. The target for June 30, 2017 is therefore between 0 and 23% at these companies.
The reason for the cautious targets is that the management of these companies - mainly small companies that provide specialized services such as Bayer Gastronomie, logistics specialist Chemion and maintenance company Tectrion – comprises only a few members and there are hardly any subordinate management levels compared with those at the holding company.
In view of the current, far-reaching changes in the Group – resulting from the separation of Covestro AG and the restructuring of the remainder of the Group – Bayer AG’s Board of Management has decided to set targets for the proportion of women in the management levels defined in the legislation on the basis of the quotas that will apply when reporting obligations commence. This is mainly because the upcoming reorganization of the Group is likely to cause considerable structural changes and thus staffing changes, especially in senior management. Consequently, it is not currently possible to give effective undertakings on achieving the defined proportion of women in senior management positions within the legally stipulated timescale.
However, this does not in any way mean that the Bayer Group will reduce its efforts to achieve a better gender balance in its management over the coming years. In 2010, Bayer set itself the voluntary target of raising the proportion of women in the five highest management grades throughout the Group toward 30 percent by the end of 2015. In just five years, it has succeeded in increasing the proportion of women in this segment of management from 21 percent to some 28 percent (including Covestro). In the life sciences, which will form the whole of Bayer in the future, the proportion of women in this segment was over 30 percent at the start of 2016.The aim is to increase the proportion of women in management positions further to 35 percent by the end of 2020 (excluding Covestro).
The Group will continue to pursue this extremely successful strategy in the future. Bayer will also carry on basing its strategy on its own definition of management levels because these correspond precisely with the structure of the Group and cover a far broader spectrum of management than is defined in national legislation. Thus Bayer will continue to publish the results of its voluntary Group-wide undertakings in its reports in addition to references to the targets set in German law.