Alina Stan & Martin Stoebe, Beiersdorf Romania: Being part of Bucharest Pride is how we set an example of acceptance.

Alina Stan & Martin Stoebe, Beiersdorf Romania: Being part of Bucharest Pride is how we set an example of acceptance.

Martin Stoebe, Country Manager Romania, Bulgaria & Moldova, and Alina Stan, HR Manager Romania & Bulgaria, offer, in this exclusive interview, an overview of Beiersdorf’s current ED&I initiatives in Romania and Bulgaria. They share insights on how Beiersdorf, a Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce Corporate Member, fosters a diverse workforce, integrates ED&I principles into recruitment, supports women’s career advancement, and ensures equal opportunities for all employees.

Can you provide an overview of Beiersdorf’s current ED&I initiatives in Romania and Bulgaria?

Martin Stoebe: One of our priorities in the last years was to have a 50-50 gender parity for management levels globally, bringing more women into leadership roles. This was achieved globally last year, and we reached above that in Beiersdorf Southeast Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova.) But we are looking at ED&I from multiple perspectives. We believe diversity goes beyond what is visible at first glance (gender, nationality, sexual orientation, etc). As diversity, inclusion, and equity are important aspects of our day-to-day life at Beiersdorf, we currently focus on upskilling our leadership team on all these three topics by providing them with extensive training modules. Of course, this is a continuous journey.

How does Beiersdorf integrate ED&I principles into its recruitment and hiring processes in Romania and Bulgaria, ensuring a diverse pool of candidates?

Alina Stan: We look at candidates from different angles. All recruitment processes have multiple interviewers from our side to make sure we have a broader perspective of the same candidates. We also use various recruitment channels to make it accessible for as many candidates as possible. When we post job ads, we use words that can be understood by a diverse pool of external candidates and we try to make the job descriptions as clear as possible for the candidates to understand the expectations.

When we post job opportunities, we reinforce the message that all applicants should provide us with information that is relevant for the assessment of their application and that they don’t need to include any pictures in their CVs.

Could you share examples of specific programmes supporting women’s career advancement and empowerment within Beiersdorf’s skincare division in Romania and Bulgaria?

Martin Stoebe: Definitely.  We can proudly announce the launch of our support network called Sisterhood is Power and the program EmpowHER. This type of program involves talks and workshops dedicated to women, helping us to create a support network for all women at Beiersdorf. We have facilitated an internal communication channel, dedicated to all women at Beiersdorf where our women colleagues from all around the globe can engage in different conversations and topics of interest – for example, career highlights, advice, motivational support, etc.

How does Beiersdorf address gender disparities or challenges within its workplace culture in Romania and Bulgaria, and what strategies are in place to promote equality and inclusion?

Alina Stan: We believe it’s a lot about awareness and the conversations that are happening around these topics. I am starting to hear more and more that diversity is about being invited to the party and inclusion is about being invited to dance. In our organisation, this translates into promoting and encouraging our colleagues to speak up, to make their voices heard and to show that their opinions are welcomed and taken into consideration. We also make sure that everybody is treated with care and respect, behaviours that come naturally to all our colleagues in Romania and Bulgaria. In terms of HR processes, we do integrate the concept of equality, starting with recruitment, compensation process or development of our colleagues.

Can you discuss Beiersdorf’s approach to providing equal opportunities for career development and training to employees from minorities in Romania and Bulgaria?

Martin Stoebe: At Beiersdorf, we don’t differentiate people based on minorities. Everybody has equal opportunities to develop and all employees are involved in the same training at the organisational level. Moreover, each team member has specific development plans with his/her manager to help them grow in the areas they need the most.

What measures does Beiersdorf take to ensure fair and equal compensation practices for all employees in Romania and Bulgaria?

Alina Stan: Equal compensation is a crucial topic for us. We are working with salary data and external benchmarks to make sure we are aligned with the external market and the best practices. We make efforts to maintain both internal and external equity for all employees. At the same time while making salary decisions we look at different criteria while analysing the outcome. For example, gender is one of the criteria we check to make sure we have a good balance from a compensation perspective for identical roles and overall for the whole country unit. We do have a regional rewards team that is providing us clear guidelines for all related compensation topics and we do implement them in the process of salary planning, recruitment and internal moves.

How does Beiersdorf foster an inclusive work environment that celebrates diversity and encourages collaboration among employees in Romania and Bulgaria?

Martin Stoebe: We have a unique culture guided by our core values, COURAGE and CARE. We value diverse opinions and encourage our people to speak up in order to get the best possible outcome. But once we agree on something we go out as one team with full commitment and collaboration across the organisation. As we believe a lot in the power of role modelling, our leadership team is diverse in terms of gender and nationality. Our annual engagement survey captures questions related to diversity and some of the engagement discussions in our teams are referring to this topic.

We want to understand how our colleagues perceive the topic of diversity and to integrate their suggestions into our work environment. In this way, we try to create awareness, collaboration and allyship between our teams.

Can you elaborate on any mentorship or sponsorship programmes that Beiersdorf offers to support the professional growth and advancement of women and minorities in leadership roles in Romania and Bulgaria?

Alina Stan: Yes, we can talk more about Sisterhood is Power program. The main goal is to empower women, we offer webinars for our women colleagues with various growth themes such as how to be more confident, how to create impact, and how to define priorities in life. We have also organised open talks with our women leaders in Romania and Bulgaria to get insights about their professional careers and understand how they have advanced throughout their careers.

How does Beiersdorf actively engage with external communities and organisations to promote ED&I awareness and initiatives in Romania and Bulgaria?

Martin Stoebe: We started in 2023 to actively participate in Bucharest Pride Week. In this way, we take a stand for tolerance and diversity. Beiersdorf is a strong supporter of the concept of togetherness and encourages people to feel comfortable in their own skin, regardless of age, background, gender, sexual orientation or culture. Being part of Bucharest Pride is how we set an example of acceptance.

What future ED&I goals or strategies is Beiersdorf planning to implement in Romania and Bulgaria to further increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within its workforce and beyond?

Alina Stan: We want to further increase awareness regarding diversity, equity and inclusion and our teams should be able to have those conversations that matter. We have an extensive plan to upskill all our leaders on those 3 topics and all of them will embark – starting with this year – on their personal ED&I journey. We will ensure that our leaders have the right knowledge and methods to foster a diverse and inclusive environment while enabling their teams to be themselves at the workplace.


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