To support our people and help them perform at their best, we continuously look for ways to improve our organizational health and shape a purposeful and inclusive culture.

Our organizational health

We broadly focus on three areas related to organizational health: strengthening our organizational change management capability, developing our High Performing Teams (HPT) program and monitoring our organizational health with the Insight survey.

Insight survey results from 2022 show we maintained the previous year’s record high response rate of 86% and achieved an overall stable organizational health score (OHI) of 72 (2021: 72), which is just a few points away from top quartile. Following the outcomes of the OHI survey, leaders and their teams can access the data, reflect on their results and identify improvement actions, which are then supported by our Regional Culture and Change teams and HR. According to their needs, leaders are encouraged to deploy specific team nudges, design action plans and monitor progress.

Our OHI results are accessible to our entire (online) population, in line with our aim of driving a culture of transparency.

Organizational health score (OHI)

AkzoNobel score on the organizational health index of McKinsey.

A diverse and inclusive workplace

We continue our journey towards an even more inclusive, diverse and capable workforce with a focus on leadership reflecting the diversity of the communities where we operate. Our three priorities are:

  • Fostering an inclusive culture
  • Building and expanding our internal diversity and inclusion networks
  • Strengthening our leadership diversity with a focus on gender balance

We’re building on this strong foundation to ensure our people can be and perform at their best. To further support diversity and inclusion (D&I) at AkzoNobel, we’re rolling out a network of D&I Agents – who’ve been trained to facilitate D&I workshops – and our D&I Ambassadors Plus, who’ll help connect employees on the ground with central efforts. Overall, we have almost 300 Culture and Change agents around the world and 13 D&I agents equipped to give workshops on diversity and inclusion. Almost 700 employees signed up to become D&I Ambassadors, committed to modeling inclusive and respectful behavior. Around 90% of employees have already completed online inclusive behavior training and 70% of sites have run our inclusive behavior workshop.

Diversity and inclusion is a topic of growing interest across our organization and has strong leadership support through the D&I Sounding Board – comprised of Executive Committee members, senior executives and the global D&I advisor. In 2022, our inclusive language guide was completed. The year also saw the launch of our Vibe network, a community that celebrates the cultural and racial diversity of our workforce. Existing networks continued to grow and have an impact: the True Colors network (LGBTI+) has improved on our standing in the Workplace Pride Global Benchmark by almost five points; the Equal Access Board is supporting employees with disabilities by providing the resources they need to perform at their best; and our Women Inspired Network hosted an array of global and regional events.

Diversity and inclusion employee networks

We’re proud to say we’ve made progress towards our goal of having 30% female executives by 2025. In 2022, we had 26% female representation at the senior executive level (2021: 22%), 50% in the Executive Committee (2021: 43%) and 37.5% in our Supervisory Board (2021: 33%). The impact of Grupo Orbis was immaterial (two executives, both male).

Female executives

in %

Percentage of women at executive level. Executive level includes all employees with an executive position grade at AkzoNobel and its subsidiaries, including the members of the Executive Committee who are not members of the Board of Management. Please refer to the reporting principles for the full definition.

In 2022, the Dutch Gender Diversity Bill introduced gender balance targets for Akzo Nobel N.V. and its group companies meeting the requirements of a large company under Dutch law. The requirements applicable to AkzoNobel’s Dutch large group companies1 are fulfilled on their behalf by Akzo Nobel N.V. in this Report 2022. The group of the company’s executives to which the 30% female ambition applies has been updated to include the Board of Management, Supervisory Board and executives of each large group company to comply with the requirements.2 In addition, we’ve added our Executive Committee (excluding Board of Management)3. Our executives are considered as AkzoNobel’s sub-top as referred to in the bill – in total 312 people, of which 230 are male and 82 are female (26%). The restated number for 2021 would have been 23%. How we plan to reach our 30% female ambition is described above under A diverse and inclusive workplace, and further elaboration is provided in the diversity and inclusion position statement available on our website. Further information on the gender balance targets applicable to the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board can be found in the Corporate governance statement.

Managing and developing talent

In 2022, we continued to be recognized as a leading employer in many of our key countries, including Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Vietnam, the UK and the US.

As part of our ongoing journey towards a sustainable and diverse leadership pipeline, we continued to plan the development of our top talent. The Grow2Lead program, a nine-month blended learning experience, was completed by 494 talents across regions and functions.

Overall, employee turnover in 2022 was 15% (14% in 2021); voluntary turnover was 9% (8% in 2021). The recovery of the labor market had an impact, especially on voluntary turnover.

We’ve focused on building capability to support our strategy and initiatives, especially for product management, margin management and end-to-end supply chain. We defined the skills our employees need in those areas and designed learning solutions to address potential gaps.

The “Your Development Journey” campaign was introduced to help employees take charge of their own development, and offered more than 80 webinars worldwide. We continued to offer other resources around adapting to a changing environment, covering topics such as resilience and digital, social and emotional skills.

To increase awareness of our approach to sustainable business, we’ve developed a workshop that explains how our company purpose – People. Planet. Paint. – drives our sustainability ambitions and how we’ll achieve our targets. More opportunities to learn about this topic will continue to be rolled out.

Minding the gender pay gap

“Caring for our people is an important part of our company culture, enshrined in our purpose – People. Planet. Paint. – and our approach to sustainability,” says Joëlle Boxus, Chief HR Officer and member of the Executive Committee. “No matter who you are, we believe you should have equal opportunities to grow and be successful with AkzoNobel.”

That’s why we’re committed to fostering an inclusive environment where employees are rewarded equally, regardless of their gender – in addition to improving female representation. To prevent a gender pay gap, we follow a rewards philosophy of globally-structured compensation based on market references and performance.

In 2022, an external party reviewed our current compensation practice for the global population. The uncorrected difference in fixed annual reward between men and women was found to be 2.2% in favor of women. The European benchmark 2020 (published in November 2020 by the European Commission) shows an average pay difference in favor of men of 13%. After correcting for background variables, the annual pay gap is 0.9% in favor of men. The small gap remaining could be explained by gender bias or missing variable information, such as educational background.

Global salary comparisons between women and men show a small difference in base pay across the board throughout the company, with some differences by country, both in favor of women and men. We plan to further explore gender pay gap details per country and identify areas of attention, including variable pay elements when applicable.

Mural with flowers (photo)

Our commitment to becoming a more inclusive employer recognizes that we rely on the exceptional talent of our 35,200 colleagues. A diverse and inclusive working environment where people feel supported and empowered lends itself to a high-performing workforce that truly reflects our customer base and the communities we operate in.

1 Each of Akzo Nobel Nederland B.V., Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings B.V., Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes B.V. and International Paint (Nederland) B.V. qualify as a “large company”, as referred to above.

2 Of the total 11 people in the group, four were not already included on the executives list (two male and two female).

3 Year-end 2022 representing four people (one male and three female).