Sustainable Conduct – Commitment to Employees and Society

Corporate Culture: Dialogue, Diversity, Innovation

Ethical standards

Fairness and respect are central elements of our corporate culture. That includes observing Group-wide standards of conduct and protecting employees from discrimination, harassment and retaliation. These standards are set forth in our Corporate Policy “Fairness and Respect at Work.” With the help of training, videos and our internal websites, Bayer employees around the world are provided with guidance on how to comply with this corporate policy.

Child and forced labor are strictly prohibited at Bayer in accordance with the core labor criteria of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This prohibition is set out in our binding Human Rights Policy and applies Group-wide.

Communication at all levels

Employees can use the internal crowdsourcing platform WeSolve to pose questions relating to internal matters at Bayer. These are then answered together with other employees with whom the person asking the question does not normally have any contact.

We involve our employees in business processes through active dialogue. Informing staff promptly and extensively about upcoming changes, in compliance with the applicable national and international regulations, is very important to us. We engage in open and trustful dialogue with employee representatives.

Online Annex: A

limited assurance

The main dialogue formats are regular employee assemblies, information events for managers and the European Forum, at which employee representatives from all European sites engage in discussion with the Board of Management on issues of central relevance to the company. Our employees have the opportunity to discuss company-specific issues and scope for optimization via various communication channels.

To promote a culture of innovation at the workplace, two platforms for making work-related suggestions are available to employees in Germany: the Bayer Ideas Pool and the Ideas Forum. The suggestions made by employees on improving processes, occupational safety and health protection are rewarded and utilized. More than 3,200 ideas were submitted in 2017. Around 47% of the suggestions for improvement evaluated in 2017 were implemented. In the first year of implementation alone, those improvements that led to quantifiable benefits generated savings of more than €1.5 million. In 2017, Bayer distributed bonuses of around €790 thousand for the implemented proposals.

Diversity and internationality are hallmarks of Bayer

We promote a diverse employee structure, through which we gain a better understanding of changing markets and consumer groups, get access to a broader pool of talented people and benefit from enhanced innovative and creative abilities.

Group target 2020:

Increase the proportion of senior managers from outsite the E.U., the U.S.A. and Canada to 25%

Increase the proportion of women in senior management to 35%

That is why mutual understanding and a gender and cultural balance are important success factors at Bayer. Overall, the Group employs people from around 150 different nations. Around 21% of our senior managers come from outside Western Europe, the United States and Canada. We aim to increase this to 25% by 2020 in accordance with our Group target. At our Significant locations of operation A selection of countries that accounted for more than 80% of total Bayer Group sales in 2017 (United States, Germany, China, Brazil, Japan, France, Canada, Italy, Mexico, U.K., India, Spain, Australia, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey and Argentina) we hired 330 employees for senior management in 2017, 70% of whom are employed in their country of origin. The The Group Leadership Circle is the highest level of management at the Bayer Group and comprises roughly 480 managers with significant responsibility on a national or global level. currently comprises 29 nationalities, with around 66% of its members coming from the country in which they are employed.

Proportion of Women in the Workforce 2017
in %

Proportion of Women in the Workforce 2017 (bar chart)

Bayer for many years has endeavored to achieve a better gender balance in management. By the end of 2017, Bayer had raised the proportion of women at senior management level to more than 32% (2016: 31%). In line with our Group target, we aim to raise this to 35% by 2020. Information on diversity in our Board of Management and our Supervisory Board can be found in our Corporate Governance Report.

Online Annex: A

limited assurance

The next table shows the proportion of men and women in various employee categories.

Bayer Group Workforce Structure1


















2016 figures restated


Number of employees converted into full-time equivalents (FTE)

Senior management










Junior management










Skilled employees






























The proportion of women also increased in the Group Leadership Circle. By year end 2017, it was made up of 18% women (2010: 7%) and 82% men (2010: 93%).

As a signatory to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles and the Diversity Charter corporate initiative, we pursue an inclusive approach. Diversity is integrated into all relevant human resources processes and driven forward by the management.

Online Annex: A

limited assurance

The seven Women’s Empowerment Principles sum up how women can be strengthened in the workplace, on the employment market and in the community. Furthermore, our company is also a founding member of the German “Chefsache” network sponsored by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Its members are committed to working together to develop practically oriented strategies to drive diversity and gender balance in their organizations.

As a socially responsible company, we are also committed to supporting the needs of people with disabilities. We employ some 2,300 people with disabilities in 29 countries, representing around 2% of our total workforce. 40% are female and 60% male. Most employees with disabilities work for our companies in Germany, where they made up 5.1% of the workforce in 2017.

Compare to Last Year