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Henkel highlighted at 2nd Women in Leadership Asia Forum

On February 16 and 17, 2012, Henkel was strongly represented at the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Asia forum, which was held at The Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Henkel Asia Pacific participated as a silver sponsor and was named the event’s “Sustainability Partner”, recognizing that Henkel’s Diversity & Inclusion practices provide a key pillar in the company’s strategy to enable sustainable growth. Katharina Hoehne, Vice President of Schwarzkopf Professional for the Asia Pacific, was invited to speak at this event.

“We are participating in this event for the first time and wanted to take the opportunity to create a strong impression of the Henkel brand as well as position Henkel as a progressive company on this topic of Diversity & Inclusion,” Katharina said. “At the same time, the event is a great platform to network with other successful women leaders and learn from them & the companies they work for.”

The event attracted around 250 guests and delegates from various countries, such as Australia, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand andVietnam.

The speaker list comprised of distinguished women and men business leaders and dignitaries, such as Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of  Malaysia; Eva Cheng, Non-executive Chairperson, Amway (China); Umran Beba, President, Asia Pacific, Pepsico; Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, India/Middle East/Southeast Asia, Monster.com; and Fiona Gordon, Group Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Singapore.

A wide range of topics were covered, from the attributes of C-level women leaders to what can be done to increase women’s participation in the boardroom and the role of a gender balance workplace in fostering innovation. The speakers also shared the Diversity & Inclusion practices in their companies.

On the panel titled: Session ‘I’ – idea, innovation and intrapreneurship, Katharina was one panelist amongst other senior managers. During the panel discussion, Katharina shared that Henkel is enabling an innovative workplace on the foundations of People, Process and Culture.

On People, she highlighted that the diversity of the Henkel workforce has led to a flourish of ideas based on different viewpoints and perspectives. She added that women accounted for 48 percent of the workforce in Southeast Asia and 32 percent of those in managerial positions in that region. Besides gender, the number of nationalities and ages balance in the region is continuously increasing for Henkel.

On Process, Katharina said Henkel has a very disciplined process for qualifying ideas and taking them from concept to commercialization. This leads to a 40 percent innovation rate for Personal Care, which is one part of the Schwarzkopf business.

On Culture, Katharina emphasized that Henkel’s corporate values help to inspire the spirit of innovation with here the example of sustainability. She added that although the notion of sustainability has become fashionable recently, the topic has been entrenched as part of the company’s DNA for a very long time. Furthermore the company has set its sight on the next 20 years with its Sustainability Strategy 2030, which is about achieving more with less.

Katharina summarized, “Promoting gender diversity is about encouraging and making it possible for women to reach their fullest potential and advance their career without bias.”


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