Promoting and driving workforce DE&I at HelloFresh SE

Over the years, conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace have continued to take center stage globally. According to the Let’s Get Real About Equality 2020 global report by wealth management firm Mercer, 81% of companies globally disclosed that they are focused on enhancing DE&I. However, only 42% had initiated a documented, multi-year strategy for doing so, and 50% had set formal quantitative DE&I goals and targets.

Even so, several companies are making an effort to foster workplace cultures that attract talent from diverse backgrounds. Leadership has moved from creating awareness about the disparities to demonstrating an intentional change in the workplace. Whether at the onset during the hiring process, when considering promotions, or retaining talent. Companies have committed to ensuring the inclusivity of underrepresented minorities.

We employ over 50% of women

At HelloFresh, our efforts towards DE&I will continue to be a work in progress. As part of our approach, we are constantly seeking to identify barriers to DE&I and cultivating a more inclusive culture with respect to age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, marital status, political opinion, sexual orientation and gender identity, culture, physical or mental disability, or religion. We also encourage unique perspectives and empower employees to bring their whole selves to work. 

Recruiting and retaining the best talent at HelloFresh is one of our priorities - including capable women at different job levels. Statistics indicate that less than 50% of working women are in the labor market. Over time, the representation of women across departments for entry-level, manager, senior manager/director, and senior management positions has increased. We currently employ 51% of women employees, and 59% of promotions across HelloFresh SE are filled by women (out of eligible for promotions).

Workforce DE&I at HelloFresh by nationality, leadership, gender, promotions, and ERGs.

In companies around the world, women also tend to be under-represented in technology-related roles. Statistics indicate that as of 2022, only 26.7% of tech employees globally are women. In Germany, the number is slightly lower at 17% of women in tech roles. Our HelloTech business unit comprises 29% of women, a 39% increase from 2020 to 2021, and a higher figure than the national average. Iwona Kurczab, a Tech Talent Acquisition Manager at HelloFresh maintains that “there are many opportunities to challenge this, and at HelloFresh we have multiple initiatives that create an equal space that gives everyone equal consideration.”

HelloFresh currently supports the advancement of women professionally and personally through several in-house initiatives including the Women in Technology Scholarship. The program intends to lower the entry barriers that hinder women from kick-starting careers in tech. The program includes a 6-month internship with the technology team in Berlin and an opportunity to gain a full-time job at HelloFresh after successful completion.

Members of the FreshPride Berlin Committee who are responsible for organizing diversity-related initiatives at HelloFresh.

Aside from the program, several in-house initiatives such as the L&D Budget, Hello Mint mentoring, and the Future Leaders program are available to HelloFresh employees to develop their careers. Anne Kirika is a Berlin-based Business Intelligence Analyst and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) woman in tech. She has benefited from the L&D Budget and appreciates the various opportunities offered because they encourage equality and growth within HelloFresh. What’s more, the FreshPride Employee Resouce Groups (ERGs) together with Authentic Leaders organized a workshop for LGBTQIA+ employees who wanted to learn more about the queer glass ceiling and how to expand in leadership positions.

United by our differences

At HelloFresh, everyone is welcome at our table. We currently have 12 ERGs globally that are employee-led by volunteers and supported by senior leadership. In our Berlin Headquarters, three ERGs have been established to expand inclusivity & diversity at HelloFresh. They include FreshPride (supports the LGBTQIA+ community), the Gender Equality Team - GET (promotes the empowerment of women in the workplace), and the Muslim Community Network (helps Muslim employees navigate life in Germany and thrive at HelloFresh). Some of the focus areas of these groups are regular meetings for education, discussions, networking, and celebrating significant occasions together.

Selection of cuisine at Eid-Al-Adha celebrations hosted by the Muslim Community Network at the HelloFresh Campus in Berlin.

Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are unlawful but prevalent across many countries and workplaces globally. Growing up in his home country, Tech Talent Acquisition Partner and member of the LGBTQIA+ community Marko Marinkovic faced discrimination. Moving to Berlin made him feel more accepted and valued, while the initiatives HelloFresh has put in place make him feel more included in the company. Moreover, what he appreciates the most is the community within FreshPride: “In our group "FreshPride", employees share ideas, learnings, and experiences, and they organize events and other activities. These events can range from fun social gatherings, like Drag Bingo or the Pride Parade, to educational sessions and workshops.” In July this year, members and allies of the queer community at HelloFresh had the opportunity to be a part of Christopher Street Day (CSD), Berlin’s annual Pride Parade. For the first time, FreshPride Berlin had a FreshPride Truck at the festival.

Even with our Code of Ethics, our ethical values, culture, DNA, and initiatives, we believe there is still room for improvement as we continue to build DE&I awareness across the company and community. Recently, we launched our HelloCommunity podcast, a forum that focuses on DE&I and employees' experiences at the workplace. Additionally, we have several measures in place to foster an inclusive culture for employees as we continue to narrow the gender gap. We are working on launching a more comprehensive DE&I training for all our employees towards the end of this year. Lastly, we would like to diversify our active 12 ERG communities to other regions.

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