Diversity and equal opportunities

Linde has identified diversity as one of the essential ingredients in the Group’s success. Our aim is to assemble the best possible teams across the world. These should understand customers’ needs on the ground, have an overview of the local market, and know and respect the specific cultural identity. As of 31 December 2012, the Group employed staff from around 130 different countries. More than 60 nations are represented in the German companies alone. The proportion of senior managers in The Linde Group from countries other than Germany exceeded 65 percent in 2012, with more than 40 nations represented at this level. At Linde sites in the emerging markets of China, India and Southeast Asia, over 70 percent of the senior management are from that particular region. In 2012, more than 250 Linde employees were sent on secondment to subsidiaries abroad.

One of Linde’s main priorities in the area of diversity and equal opportunities is the promotion of female managers. The proportion of women in the major talent development programme for middle managers, the Global Talent Circle, was raised during the reporting year, from 26.8 percent to 29 percent. Linde has set itself the target of raising the proportion of women in senior management positions to between 13 and 15 percent by 2018.

Global goal

13 – 15% of women in senior management positions by 2018

Measures taken to achieve this goal include several workgroups focused on different aspects and action items related to diversity. Linde also ensures female applicants are given due consideration at the recruitment stage. The proportion of female participants in the second round of the European Graduate Programme exceeded 50 percent in 2012. Equally, almost half of the participants in the company's talent programmes for trainees in Southeast Asia were women during the year under review. The Group's global aims are flanked by regional initiatives in the area of diversity and equal opportunities. In Sweden, for example, Linde defined the content and targets of an initiative promoting equality among male and female employees in 2012.

Diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

2011

 

2010

 

2009

Staff up to 30 years old

%

 

17.0

 

16.0

 

16.4

 

17.0

Staff between 30 and 50 years old

%

 

58.8

 

59.0

 

59.6

 

60.1

Staff over 50 years old

%

 

24.2

 

25.0

 

24.0

 

22.9

Nationalities of employees in Germany

 

 

63

 

63

 

58

 

Nationalities among senior managers in Germany

 

 

12

 

13

 

14

 

Female employees in total workforce

%

 

20.1

 

19.5

 

19.3

 

19.9

of which in senior management positions

%

 

11.3

 

11.0

 

10.3

 

9.3

of which in development programmes for middle managers

%

 

29.0

 

26.8

 

 

Women in the Executive Board

%

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Women in the Supervisory Board

%

 

8.3

 

8.3

 

0

 

0

Severely disabled employees (Germany)

%

 

3.1

 

3.6

 

3.5

 

3.3

Our commitment to equal opportunities also includes doing our best to integrate employees with severe disabilities or health issues. At Linde Germany, this included negotiating a works agreement governing the reintegration of employees into working life after an extended period of disability. In 2012, around 240 people with severe disabilities were employed by Linde in Germany, comprising 3.1 percent of the workforce (2011: 3.6 percent).

The Family and Career working group has been looking at demographic issues at Linde since 2008. The proportion of Group employees aged 50-plus now accounts almost for a quarter of the entire workforce. As a result, we are also developing measures tailored to the requirements of older staff members. Knowledge transfer is also a consideration in this context. The Engineering Division has established the ROCK (Retention of Critical Knowledge) programme, for instance, to ensure that the knowledge of older employees is not lost when they retire.

During the year under review, an engineering and IT careers magazine in North America awarded Linde the title of "Best Diversity Company".

Global Reporting Initiative

UN Global Compact

Measuring sustainability

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Stakeholder questions in 2012