Novozymes position statement on diversity and equal opportunities

Novozymes is committed to developing a diverse workforce. Ensuring equal rights and promoting diversity furthers an international mindset, helps attract and retain talent, fosters innovation and encourages Novozymes’ willingness and ability to adapt.

Novozymes wants to make a positive impact in our growing world. To reach this ambition, we have to realize the full potential of our employees – not only of each individual, but also as a diverse group sharing the same purpose and values. Throughout the company, we need to deliver innovation of the highest level to grow and stay ahead, and as innovation is about new ways of combining, this is most likely to happen in a forum of highly qualified people with different backgrounds, cultures, generations, genders and competences. Thereby, diversity constitutes a potential competitive advantage to Novozymes.

Our position

In accordance with our values, we want to build on our heritage as a socially responsible company that recruits, promotes and develops people based on merit and in a way that supports diversity. Recruitment, terms of employment, promotion, and termination of employment are practiced without any distinction on the basis of race, color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political opinion, sexual orientation, or family responsibilities.

Novozymes’ commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and avoiding discrimination in the workplace extends to all global operations. To ensure local relevance it is addressed in a variety of ways at our sites to reflect local or national conditions.

Our first priority to increase diversity is to increase the number of women in our senior management measurably over the coming years. 

Secondly, we want to strengthen our talent pipeline outside Denmark, as more non-Danes in management positions will catalyze a more global mind-set in Novozymes. It will also allow us to tap into a larger global pool of talent.

To promote diversity among leaders in the company, we have introduced specific requirements in our succession management systems to monitor diversity among the potential successors for leadership positions. Novozymes’ diversity initiatives are reviewed by the Board of Directors as part of the annual organizational performance process. Every year, we report the company’s diversity data in our annual report in line with applicable law and recognized international standards.

Diversity targets

Novozymes has set as its target that at least 25 percent of senior management (Directors and higher) should be women in 2017. In 2020, the number should be 30 percent.

Novozymes’ Board of Directors has set the following targets for diversity on the Board:

  • At least half of the shareholder-elected board members shall be independent in accordance with the recommendations of the Danish Committee on Corporate Governance. To ensure that Novozymes and its controlling shareholder share a common vision and common goals, it is desirable to have a number of board members representing the majority shareholder. In order to get an outside perspective on Novozymes’ business, it is also desirable to have a number of members who do not represent the majority shareholder
  • 40 percent or more of the shareholder-elected board members shall have substantial international experience from management in and of large corporations or institutions headquartered outside Denmark
  • One third or more of the shareholder-elected board members should be women
All shareholder-elected board members are elected for one year at a time. Novozymes aims to meet the targets for diversity on the Board every year.

Grievance procedures

Employees can file complaints about discrimination to the Novozymes Ombudsperson. Non-employees, including job applicants, should bring discrimination grievances to the attention of the Head of Novozymes’ People & Organization department. Novozymes' Whistleblower Hotline may also be used.


Last revised June 2017