Danfoss wants more female leaders

Ilonka Nussbaumer, Danfoss Senior Vice President and Head of HR

Danfoss is now embarking on an ambitious plan to ensure that the number of female leaders increases significantly over the next five years. With a number of new initiatives, the goal is to grow the proportion of female leaders from 20% today to 30% in five years.

“At Danfoss, we operate in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, we need to be a diverse workplace with the best employees who can challenge us and who can come up with new ideas and approaches. In a world where gender split is around 50:50 we need to make sure that we don’t miss out on the female gender side and get the best people in. Diversity in a broad sense and at all levels is crucial to creating the best solutions for our customers and maintaining Danfoss as an exciting workplace with high ceilings. It is simply the right thing for us to do,” says Kim Fausing, CEO of Danfoss.

Today, 30% of Danfoss employees are women, but only 20% of leadership positions are occupied by women. Therefore, it is now becoming a focus area for the entire Danfoss global organization to ensure that the number of female leaders is increased by 50%.

“We have come a long way, but we are aware that in order to achieve our ambitious target of increasing our female leaders’ rate by 50%, an extraordinary effort is required. We need to go new and unconventional ways, challenge ourselves and send an unambiguous signal both to ourselves that this effort has a high priority and to our outside world that Danfoss is an attractive company for both genders,” says Ilonka Nussbaumer, head of HR at Danfoss.

With the headline – diversity and inclusion, Danfoss is now launching a large number of significant and concrete efforts. It is about telling even more about Danfoss as a workplace and about the many opportunities you have as an employee. There will be a stronger focus on the recruitment process, on retaining talented women, and on developing and empowering female employees to become tomorrow’s successful leaders.

This means, among other things, that several female candidates should already be closely associated with Danfoss during their studies, through internships, student jobs, mentoring schemes and Danfoss networks. We must ensure a 50/50 distribution in Danfoss’ postgraduate and talent programmes. Female employees who are affiliated with the Danfoss talent programme will receive a senior manager as a mentor to help them in their development, and all females will be offered career coaching as part of their development plans. And not least, all Danfoss leaders will be trained to practice inclusive leadership and aim to reach at least 30% women in their leadership team by 2025.

“We know that in many of the core countries, we operate in, females are still underrepresented in STEM educations. For us, this means that we have a responsibility to make engineering and STEM educations even more attractive to women. As an engineering and technology company, we must seize the opportunity to lead globally and show that more female leaders have and are of central importance to the future development of companies,” says Ilonka Nussbaumer.