Diversity and equal opportunities

Diversity fosters an international mindset, helps attract and retain talent, and encourages Novozymes’ willingness and ability to adapt. Ensuring equal rights and promoting diversity makes Novozymes effective in the global business environment.

Position and policy on diversity and equal opportunities

Novozymes is committed to developing a diverse workforce. The company believes diversity fosters innovation and that a diverse working culture is a vital ingredient for a successful global company.

Employment with Novozymes is offered and provided based on merit. Recruitment, terms of employment, promotion, and termination of employment are practiced without any distinction, exclusion, or preference on the basis of race, color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political opinion, sexual orientation, and family responsibilities.
For Novozymes equal opportunities is about adopting a proactive stance to avoid discrimination. Novozymes’ commitment to ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace extends to all global operations, and to ensure local relevance it is addressed in a variety of ways at different sites to reflect local or national conditions.

Novozymes has the objective of further promoting diversity among leaders in the company. Novozymes has introduced specific requirements in its succession management systems to secure diversity among the potential successors for Novozymes leadership positions. Novozymes’ diversity initiatives are reviewed in the Board of Directors as part of the annual organizational performance process. Novozymes reports externally in Novozymes’ annual report on Novozymes’ diversity data in line with applicable law and recognized international standards.

Targets on diversity

Novozymes has set the following diversity targets:

• At least 40% of employees promoted are women (2016 target)
• At least 30% of senior management to be women (2020 target)

Novozymes’ board of directors has set the following targets for diversity in the Board of Directors:
  • Novozymes has as its target that at least half of its shareholder-elected board members shall be independent in accordance with the Danish Code on Corporate Governance. In order to ensure that Novozymes and its controlling shareholder share a common vision and goals, it is desirable to have a number of members of the Board of Directors representing the majority shareholder. However, in order to get an outside perspective on Novozymes’ business, it is also desirable to have a number of board members who do not represent the majority shareholder
  • With regard to international experience, Novozymes has as its target that 40% 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
  • The Board of Directors has as its target that one third or more of the shareholder-elected board members are female and one third or more of the shareholder-elected board members are male. In accordance with the Danish Business Authority’s interpretation of Section 139a of the Danish Companies Act, the target number of individuals shall be rounded off to the nearest integer.
  • According to Novozymes’ articles of association all board members elected by the shareholders are elected for one year at a time. The election of these board members is conducted each year at the annual shareholders meeting. Novozymes aims to meet the above targets for diversity in the Board of Directors each year.

Grievance procedures

Employees can file complaints about discrimination to the Novozymes Ombudsperson. For non-employee stakeholders, for example job applicants, grievances regarding discrimination should be brought to the attention of the Head of P&O. In material cases Novozymes' Whistleblower Hotline may also be used.