Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

You can sense the teamwork

Sandra Richter, Chief People Officer, and Katrin Edinger from the Global Talent and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team discuss good working conditions, why diversity and equal opportunity are so important and how “all over the board” resumes can be.

Hansgrohe is driving the topic of Diversity & Inclusion forward.
Chief People Officer Sandra Richter (left) views the diversity of the workforce as a key strength of the company. Katrin Edinger (right) drives the topic of Diversity & Inclusion at Hansgrohe.

Embracing people as they are

“People are the focus” – a lot of companies say that. Is that true for Hansgrohe?

Katrin Edinger: Hansgrohe is known for being a great place to work, where cooperation is not neglected. I can confirm that, and that’s indeed why I made the conscientious decision to apply here around two years ago.

Sandra Richter: I think – and I’ve been here for a year now – you can sense teamwork. In my opinion, the atmosphere here is very appreciative. I find it extraordinary the way the workforce gets to be involved in many decisions.

Which of the four Hansgrohe core values – passion, appreciation, teamwork and trust – is most important to you?

Richter: Passion. People put their heart and soul into their work here. That impresses me. I can see the love in every detail. 

Edinger: Appreciation. The fact that people here accept each other for who they are. This is also our mission statement for Diversity & Inclusion.

What is Hansgrohe’s position on the current topic of diversity and democracy?

Edinger: Hansgrohe has already made its position clear. We respect everyone, regardless of their background. We made this clear in 2023 as part of a campaign to raise awareness of our expectations at all plants of our facilities around the world.

Richter: I have a migrant background myself. My parents come from former Yugoslavia. Diversity is therefore not only important to me as a woman, but also culturally. When I reorganized the HR department, I wanted the topic to be at the forefront. That’s why I’m heading the endeavor.

Edinger: Our Executive Board is promoting the issue, which sets a strong foundation. In 2024, we want to continue increasing the diversity of our workforce at the managerial level in Germany. That’s why the Women4future program was launched last year. Its objective is to strengthen the position of women from all hierarchical levels, for example through workshops such as “Strong woman – strong presence,” covering successful communication in our industry. We also encourage men to take advantage of offers such as parental leave or part-time work. This increase in flexibility will be a win-win for both genders.

Richter: We also anticipate that our inclusiveness will continue to grow. For example, one of our assembly workers is deaf, and her manager has completely adapted her workplace for her. Since then, we have taken on another employee who is deaf. 

Diverse lifestyles, diverse career paths

Employee development seems to be working well at Hansgrohe. David Zapf is a great example. He completed his dual studies here, and in 2023, he created a first at Hansgrohe: a recycling machine for chrome-plated plastic components.

Richter: That’s right! Our CEO Hans Jürgen Kalmbach also completed his dual studies here. This is what we stand for: opening up pathways for people in a way that proactively supports crossfunctionality – in other words, professional experience that’s all over the board.

How did you come up with your topics of interest? Ms. Richter, you studied mathematics. That sounds like a pivot.

Richter: Yes, I studied to be a teacher and then realized that it wasn’t for me. I ended up in HR controlling through my dissertation – I had a propensity for programming databases. I have now been working in HR for around 20 years. At Hansgrohe, I can strengthen international processes and thus support our company. I want to use key figures to create more transparency at all locations to better manage talent and gender diversity.

And you, Ms. Edinger?

Edinger: I have a background in project management and helped organize one of the largest accessible events in Germany. Because I enjoy helping change come to fruition, I studied organizational development. I also had to realize that everyone can’t achieve everything. That’s why I am committed to gender equality. At Hansgrohe, I can combine it all. Diversity is an important factor in being successful. Many studies show that companies that embrace diversity and inclusion are more innovative.

Richter: Exactly. We need all the talent out there, and we attract talented people with working-hour models and benefits that are right for them. We are also creating more flexibility for parents with our new daycare center in Schiltach. It has a capacity of 90 for children 12 months and older and service hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 2023 saw the start of a crèche and a kindergarten group started. In May 2024, the second crèche group opens. A complete success, I would say.

That’s what we stand for: Opening up paths for people in a way that proactively supports cross-functionality.

Sandra Richter, Chief People Officer
Career with children
Klaus Grohe day care centre
With and for one another
How we work together