Diversity & inclusion Leveraging diversity and increasing female representation in management

Target: Double the proportion of women in senior management roles to 25 percent, within our comprehensive diversity and inclusion framework

Our aim to double the proportion of women in senior management roles is part of our broader Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2030, which has the ambition to make ABB a truly diverse, fair and inclusive place to work for everyone. That strategy is underpinned by a comprehensive diversity and inclusion framework that recognizes diversity in all of its dimensions: gender, ethnicity, age, ability and sexual orientation. The strategy is based on three pillars:

  1. Governance
  2. Inclusive leadership and culture
  3. Partnerships
Women in senior management (%)
Women in senior management (%)
Women in senior management (%) (graphic)

At ABB, senior managers are defined as employees in Hay grades 1-7.

In 2021, we ran mentoring and leadership development programs across all Business Areas to develop and strengthen our pipeline of female talent globally and regionally. These programs provide promising female employees with mentors for professional guidance, learning and support, as well as networking opportunities with ABB senior leaders. They also help our female team members become part of a mutually supportive community to enable them to realize their potential and assume more senior leadership positions.

Our Business Areas have embraced these programs. In 2021, more than 100 mentees and 100 mentors from both ABB Motion and ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation participated in ABB’s Female Mentoring Development Program. In ABB Process Automation, 112 talented female employees joined the “PA Women Development Program” for a period of nine to 12 months. And ABB Electrification launched the Women's Leadership Development Program (WLDP) to strengthen its female talent pipeline, providing visibility, development, senior sponsorship and executive coaching for program participants.

Along with our 2030 target for increasing the representation of women in senior management, we have three additional targets for diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI): to achieve an equal gender balance among our early talent hires, to provide broader access for our people to Employee Resource Groups Employee Resource Groups are voluntary, employee-led groups whose mission at ABB is to champion diversity initiatives and embrace the differences that make us unique, thereby fostering an environment of inclusion, equity and belonging at ABB. (ERGs) and to improve employee perceptions of inclusiveness at ABB.

Diversity & inclusion highlights in 2021
Diversity & inclusion highlights in 2021
Diversity & inclusion highlights in 2021 (graphic)

Early talent hires, ERGs and inclusiveness at ABB

In 2021, we made good progress on all three of our internal DEI targets. Among our early talent hires, 40.5 percent were women; we now have 22 active ERGs in countries across the world; and we established a baseline for our inclusiveness target. In keeping with our efforts to build a robust culture of inclusion, more than 7,600 ABB managers and other employees have completed our “Interrupt Unconscious Bias” program. Diversity and inclusion are also among our core leadership competencies, and we have made a wide selection of learning paths on this topic available to all of our people.

Global, gender-neutral, parental leave program

Among other initiatives to make ABB more inclusive, in 2021, we revised our Group-wide guidelines for flexible work practices, which are now being rolled out across ABB and we launched a global, gender-neutral, parental leave program, providing 12 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers and four weeks for secondary caregivers . Additionally, substantial work has been done in the past year to attract, recruit, develop and retain diverse talents.

ABB Pride

During Pride Month 2021, thousands of our people participated in events aimed at promoting a culture of inclusion. ABB was recognized by Germany’s Prout at Work Foundation as an LGBTQ+ ERG Global Leader for our efforts to support ERGs and mobilize our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies in such a short time. In Switzerland, ABB was honored with the Swiss LGBTI-Label – a seal of approval awarded to organizations that actively promote equal opportunities and equity for LGBTI people within the organization.

Partnering to drive social progress

To drive social progress within our company and throughout society, ABB has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Stonewall, Catalyst, FEMTEC, Parks and Open for Business, among many others. In May 2021, ABB announced that it had become the Official Global Partner of FIA Girls on Track, an ABB Formula E project to empower girls and promote gender equality in motorsport and beyond.

Initiatives within ABB’s four Business Areas

At the Business Area level, ABB implemented a number of actions in 2021 linked to our D&I objectives.

ABB Motion piloted manager-led “Inclusive Teams Workshops” and ran leadership team engagement sessions on the topic of “LGBTQ+ Inclusive Leadership.”

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation celebrated Pride Month in 2021 by displaying Pride-themed YuMi and GoFa robots and hosting a panel discussion on LGBTQ+ issues; more than 900 participants attended the event virtually.

In addition to kicking off its “PA Women Development Program,” ABB Process Automation actively supported its Divisions in setting up DEI councils and executive sponsorships.

As well as the establishment of the Women’s Leadership Development Program, ABB Electrification initiated a working group on diversity, equity & inclusion and formed the ABB Executive Diversity & Inclusion Council in the United States. The Business Area also conducted unconscious bias training for nearly 1,600 Electrification colleagues around the world.