DSM Integrated Annual Report 2022

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In 2022, we continued working to ensure that all our people feel included and cared for. Fostering and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is key to helping our employees offer their best, most authentic contribution, and is a prerequisite for achieving our ambitions and accelerating our strategic transformation. In 2022, we added ‘equity’ to our previously established Inclusion and Diversity strategy, which is now referred to as our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy. Our DE&I strategy focuses on four existing initiatives: Human rights, Living wage, Pay parity, and Hybrid working. We also accelerated progress on our five diversity pillars – Gender; Race, Ethnicity & National Identity (REN); LGBTQ+; Disability; and Generations – through continued efforts on our three focus areas: recruitment, development, and inclusion.















Inclusion index1 2














Internationalization & diversity







Female executives


30% by 2025





Under-represented nationalities


40% by 2025






All data presented in People are subject to the Non-financial reporting policy.


As the divestment of Engineering Materials was announced prior to the launch of the EES, people working for Engineering Materials completed a different questionnaire. The scores cannot be aggregated in the total, therefore EES and associated metrics are reported excluding Engineering Materials. The 2021 Employee Engagement scores excluding Engineering Materials were: Employee Engagement Index 77% and Inclusion Index 77%.

A regional approach to DE&I

Each pillar is key to an inclusive workplace and contains commitments that we strive to achieve by 2025. Since inclusion is experienced in specific contexts, and at different maturity levels around our global workplaces, we have adopted a local ownership approach. In April 2022, we organized a series of regional DE&I commitments workshops, where all the regions were invited to create their DE&I roadmap to contribute to our global commitments. The regional roadmaps include goals and ambitions per pillar to support workplace inclusivity, such as the period leave policy that has been implemented in India and new benefits for our LGBTQ+ employees that have been implemented in North America. The global DE&I network meets quarterly to review progress on these commitments, discuss challenges, and share best practices.

Our new DE&I hub

In August 2022, we set up a new online employee DE&I hub where all employees can learn more about our 2025 commitments through a range of educational resources and practical toolkits, such as guidelines on tips for inclusive language for policy development. Through the DE&I hub, employees can join Employee Resource Groups and networks and become co-creators of our DE&I journey.

DE&I governance framework

DSM’s governance framework for DE&I ensures ownership and steering by the executive and senior leadership, with operational responsibility shared between the business and regions. For example, our DE&I commitments were agreed upon by DSM’s Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Council and jointly owned by our Executive Committee and Regional Presidents.

In 2022, we consolidated our DE&I governance, with our Co-CEOs chairing the I&D Council and each Executive Committee member sponsoring one of the five diversity pillars. The direction of our DE&I strategy, along with our commitments, was discussed and agreed upon by the Executive Committee. Our I&D Council, which helps to shape our DE&I strategy and drives program activation, comprises Regional Presidents, business leaders, employee resource group leads, and DE&I regional leads. Additionally, each region has nominated a focal point of contact for DE&I to support the global DE&I team in implementing programs and initiatives.

Our DE&I focus areas

Our global DE&I team undertook a wide range of initiatives within our focus areas of recruitment, development, and inclusion, in close collaboration with regional teams and Employee Resource Groups. These initiatives aim to diversify our current and future talent pools, improve development opportunities for underrepresented groups, and ensure a psychologically safe and inclusive working environment where all our colleagues can be their authentic selves. Ultimately, we are committed to providing workplaces where a diverse range of colleagues feel comfortable to contribute and can truly thrive regardless of their background or characteristics. In 2022, we continued to invest in creating such a culture, launching a new inclusion program, which is available on demand for all teams. Our efforts are reflected in the increase of our Employee Engagement Survey inclusion score (+2 p.p.), which is even more evident in regions such as the Netherlands (+4 p.p.) and Switzerland (+3 p.p.).

A strong DE&I network

Our DE&I network has continued to expand through Employee Resource Groups and regional DE&I teams. This network’s initiatives and events continue to contribute to positive increases in inclusion scores. Examples of such initiatives include:

  • Global workshops and webinars on our five DE&I pillars: Gender, REN, Generations, Disability, and LGBTQ+
  • Signing the Declaration of Amsterdam, underlining our commitment to making DSM even more LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Launch of ‘Hot Site’, an online sign language accessibility tool, in Latin America
  • DE&I Week events in all regions, with activities focused on our five DE&I pillars
  • Wo&Men’s development program, a program designed to facilitate career development for our female (and male) talents
  • Mentoring program for women in operations and supply chain
  • Pride Month, with a variety of LGBTQ+ awareness sessions around the world
  • Black History Month in the US

Our performance on our global diversity targets

Our DE&I commitments for 2022–2025 are:

  • 30% of our executives to be female
  • 40% of our executives to be from currently underrepresented nationalities
  • Global business and functional leadership teams to be at least 30% diverse in gender and nationality

In addition, and in line with our broader commitments to the five DE&I pillars, the regions take ownership of progress via local programs, following our overall focus on recruitment, development, and inclusion.

In 2022, we realized a 3 p.p. increase (from 23% in 2021 to 26%) in the percentage of female executives, reflecting changes implemented in our talent acquisition, recruitment, and learning and development processes. A substantial increase and accomplishment we can be very proud of. In addition to this, our Employee Engagement Survey results show promising trends. Specifically, female executives feel more involved in decision making processes (+10 p.p.), have more development conversations with managers (+17 p.p.) and are more satisfied with their career opportunities at DSM (+6 p.p.) compared to last year. As a result, the gap between male and female executive scores has diminished in some areas and disappeared in others.

Our percentage of executives from under-represented nationalities slightly dropped from 30% to 29%. These outcomes show that we are making steady progress toward our 2025 targets for female executives (30%), but slower-than-desired progress toward our 2025 targets for underrepresented groups (40%) at executive levels. Several factors influenced this outcome, including the continued competition for high-profile candidates in a buoyant labor market and the fact that many of our key executive roles are based in Europe.

We conducted regional DE&I surveys in China and Asia-Pacific in 2022 to gather further insights into the composition of our workforce. This offered employees the opportunity to self-identify on demographics we cannot track globally and provided baseline data for identifying priority areas that need support from DSM policies or Employee Resource Groups. This diversity data is collected and managed following all data privacy and GDPR guidelines, securing employees’ anonymity.

Based on these results and local factors, those regions have adapted their DE&I roadmaps and are implementing programs such as improving access to employment for people with disabilities, ensuring equality in policies and benefits for LGBTQ+ colleagues, and awareness and education initiatives.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Inclusion & Diversity
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer
Race, Ethnicity & National Identity