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Diversity gives you wings!

About 40 young and experienced, Germans and internationals, extroverts and introverts having fun creating 2-metre bizarre flying objects. The flying objects are launched from 5 meter altitude into the orbit. Then the whole group claps and rates the most successful flight and most breath-taking engine. A think-tank of a global airline? A summit of marketers testing a new product? No, this was the Annual Diversity Event of Financial Controllers in Henkel Düsseldorf!



Beginning of July the whole department gathered for a BBQ to celebrate the group’s Diversity. Aim was to get to know each other better and to foster inclusion within the team. In the atmosphere of tasty salads, crispy sausages and home-made desserts, in a spacious, impressively decorated garden of one of the department’s heads, the team had the opportunity to test how well it interacts in a non-business environment. The colleagues were encouraged to show their full ‘diversity’ and to experience the great success resulting from joining their individual strengths. The task was to build a flying object with given materials like cardboard, strings, balloons, stickers, foil and then throw it from a balcony without causing an egg – hidden somewhere in the engine – to crack. The groups were set to ensure the maximum mixture – females, males, internationals, youngsters, experienced, team leaders and part-timers. Every participant had to choose one sticker colour – blue for ‘analytic’, green for ‘creative’ and red for ‘dynamic doer’ and then supported the team with his or her best qualities. In the end the flying object was evaluated by its creativity, technical features and length of flight. Bonus points were given for the good state of the egg. Moreover, every team explained why they thought they were diverse and what features helped them build a successful flying machine. An after-event survey showed that the BBQ was an unquestionable success. The fun challenge and friendly atmosphere helped group building and understanding diversity. Interesting enough, the role selection didn’t correlate with age, gender or nationality, as the after-event statistics showed.

One of the employees commented: “After the Diversity Event it turned out that we are a bunch of positive, creative, driven people who can understand each other very well (…) This mixture helps us do daily business better and embark on new projects because we know we have a lot of potential as a group.” Another added: “Even though we are all Controllers, we are not only diverse concerning nationality and sex, but also in terms of character. (…) The game showed that we don’t behave according to all prejudices about controllers, but that we are all unique. Nobody had to be ashamed of his/her capabilities, but could develop his/her talents.” Exactly – diversity means different talents, let’s make them grow!

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