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    Diversity as a success factor

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    The concept of “diversity” has been a hot topic for years. Behind it, though, is more than just the fact that we humans differ from each other in ethnic origin, gender, sex, sexual orientation, beliefs and much more. It is actually not only about accepting these differences, but also grasping diversity as potential and promoting it.

    Our modern working environment should be similarly diverse, but it is often far from simple to achieve this goal: “Companies publicly commit themselves to diversity and inclusion – but frequently they do little about it and don’t take any specific measures,” is how the Handelsblatt newspaper, for instance, summarised the results of the German Diversity Monitor 2021. In Germany, then, there is a considerable need to catch up. There are in fact many reasons to promote diversity in the workforce, because companies not only profit at a financial level, but are often also more innovative, creative and attractive to new talent.

    Promoting women

    One of the many facets of diversity is the equal treatment of women at work. This is a priority for Krones especially because we – like many other companies with a technical orientation – are faced with the situation where male employees are in the majority, particularly at management level. After all, while there may be an even split of men and women in a cohort of employees at the start of their career path, the proportion of women declines continuously over time the higher they go in the hierarchy, particularly because they take on responsibility for bringing up families.

    That was why Krones established a Diversity Board consisting of seven women at the end of last year. They belong to different age groups and hold a variety of positions within the company. Some of them have children, others do not – and the same applies for their management or foreign experience. This generates valuable interchanges in which a range of perspectives can be brought in. Uta Anders, Head of Controlling Accounting and Tax and a member of the Diversity Board, explains: “It’s about creating the framework conditions that give all employees the same opportunities. “After all, leadership has no gender.”

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    One of the many facets of diversity is the equal treatment of women at work.

    Work should make you happy and be compatible with your private life. Therefore, I don't subordinate anything, but always try to maintain a balance. The daily challenges might seem difficult to master, but it is possible! With my experience from team parents and team Krones, I would like to support my female colleagues in pushing obstacles to the side so that they don't have to weigh professional and private happiness against each other, but rather let them go hand in hand. Erwin HächlClaudia MackHead of Controlling Process Technologies

    Clear objective

    The work of the Diversity Board has a clear goal in sight, because the Executive Board has taken the decision to specify a fixed target: an increase in the proportion of women in senior management to 15 percent by 2024. Senior management includes the two hierarchical levels below the Executive Board. This decision applies to Krones AG in the first instance, but measures aimed at increasing the proportion of women are to be implemented right across the Group at a later date.

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    To highlight the issue of gender diversity at Krones, a Diversity Board consisting of seven women was established at the end of last year: left to right Karina Brückl, Uta Anders, Claudia Mack, Jasmin Heindl, Ingrid Reuschl und Astrid Haitzer (Veronika Lautenschlager is not in the picture).

    If the target quota since agreed by the Executive Board is to be achieved, action must be taken at all levels within the company. Human Resources has already prepared an extensive catalogue of measures covering framework conditions, staff retention and recruitment, among other areas. Communication and the challenging of gender roles are also important if women in leadership are to be regarded as par for the course. The Diversity Board reflects all these measures by actively supporting projects, serving as a model and supplying input in order to achieve the 15 percent target by the end of 2024.

    At the same time, of course, the other facets of diversity should not be ignored either. Active examination of the subject of women in leadership should thus be seen as a first step and starting-point for further discussion around greater diversity in the company.

    The future is diverse, and that means female, too. I enjoy my work and it’s important to me. It was clear to me from an early stage that I wanted to take on and help shape management responsibility, so I communicated this message actively. It also takes courage to seize an opportunity that presents itself. I was courageous. I am a mother but, thanks to my family background, this wasn’t a barrier to reconciling both a career and a private life. As a board member, I would like to appeal to my colleagues to be courageous, ambitious and show what you can do! Erwin HächlVeronika LautenschlagerHead of Control Cabinet Production and member of the Diversity Board

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