Bayer Employees

Working at Bayer:
Excellent Perspectives

Bayer’s business success is based to a large extent on the knowledge and commitment of our employees. As an employer, we offer our employees attractive conditions and wide-ranging individual development opportunities. Alongside professional training, we focus on conveying our corporate values (LIFE) and establishing a dialogue- and feedback-oriented corporate culture based on trust, intentional inclusion, respect for diversity and equality of opportunity. We measure the engagement and satisfaction of our employees by means of institutionalized feedback discussions and regular employee surveys.

Responsibility for the human resources strategy of the Bayer Group falls within the remit of the Board of Management with the support of Bayer’s Human Resources enabling function. The strategy is implemented within the scope of Group-wide regulations and standards. Specialized organizational units are responsible for the operational design, implementation and steering of the global processes.

Numerous external awards and surveys bear witness to our excellent reputation as an employer. These include the awards we received in 2019 as one of the best employers in Germany, China, United States and Brazil.

Passion to Innovate | Power to Change: Why You Should Work at Bayer

Employees at all Bayer sites around the world have the right to elect their own representatives. In 2019, the working conditions for around 55% (2018: 57%1) of our employees worldwide were governed by collective or company agreements.

2018 value as last reported

Employee Data

On December 31, 2019, we employed 103,824 people (2018: 107,894) worldwide. In Germany we had 24,953 (2018: 25,602) employees, which was 24.0% of the total Group workforce (2018: 23.7%).

Bayer employees worldwide

Global headcount fell by 3.8% in 2019 owing in particular to the restructuring measures launched at the beginning of the year and the divestments in our Consumer Health division.

In 2019, the Bayer Group hired 12,547 new employees (accounting for 11.8% of our workforce). On the reporting date, our employees had worked for the Bayer Group for an average of 10.2 years (2018: 9.8). Our workforce includes only a small number of employees on temporary contracts (4.9%).

Number of Bayer Employees by Segment, Dec. 31, 2019

Bayer employees worldwide

High Level of Vocational Training

To meet the need for skilled employees, Bayer provides vocational training in Germany in more than 25 different occupations and offers more vocational training places than required to meet its own needs. In total, we have around 1,400 trainees. Bayer also offers trainee programs in various areas for those embarking on a career and internships for students around the world.

Find your new training position at Bayer in Germany on our German careers website. All international job vacancies can be found on global careers website.

Employees have wide-ranging ongoing training opportunities open to them. We bundle our Group-wide continuing education offerings in the Bayer Academy, which offers professional training for all employees and has received numerous international awards. The Bayer Academy also offers courses designed to systematically develop managerial employees. The courses accompany the managers from their first leadership roles to future duties in senior management.

Functional academies such as the Finance Academy offer advanced specialist training for employees in various disciplines. Our employees can further expand their expertise through continuous professional training at more than 40 of these functional academies and learning organizations.

Examples of Continuing Education in 2019

Training courses
Key aspects / goals
Attendances in 2019
Bayer Leadership Academy
Systematic management development program based on the LIFE values to facilitate a uniform understanding of leadership worldwide.
Bayer Finance Academy
Modular program for systematic introductory training and continuous professional development for employees in finance, accounting, auditing, controlling and tax
Bayer Human Resources Academy
Various training formats for HR departments to enhance their competencies as advisors and partners for the various business units
Bayer Procurement Academy
Training in procurement-related topics, specifically for procurement staff
Commercial Excellence programs
Practical programs to provide market-related background knowledge and improve customer focus
Regulatory Science Academy
Training in Regulatory Science related topics, specifically for Regulatory Science staff
e-learning library
e-learning libraryEvery Bayer employee can access a free e-learning library in several languages. Four main topics are covered:
  • Business & leadership skills
  • Programming and IT skills
  • Desktop knowledge
  • Digital transformation
Occupational safety
Occupational safetyWeb-based training on occupational safety9,339

Since 2018, all employees have been able to access a comprehensive eLearning library that is available at any time without commitment to defined course times. All employees – irrespective of their contract status – can access contents suitable for their needs and put together an individually tailored learning plan in line with their development requirements. The courses are free of charge for employees, and approval by supervisors is not required. The library currently includes more than 7,000 courses and offers not just specialized contents for individual occupational groups and disciplines, but also overarching themes for a broad target group within the company. These offers are additionally available to external employees, also known as contractors.

Training in ethical standards (e.g. compliance, and fairness and respect at the workplace) is mandatory for all employees (including employees of contractors). Participation in training courses dealing with product safety and quality is mandatory for all employees entrusted with tasks in these areas and is documented in the training system.

Vocational and ongoing training hours amounted to 22.6 hours per employee on average in 2019. The average cost of training per employee was €509.  


Through special training courses, we are systematically preparing our employees for the digital evolution. Furthermore, we already leverage in some areas the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence – such as the execution of internal standard processes with the help of robotic process automation. In the area of recruiting, we are testing new, intelligent algorithms to discover how innovative technologies can support our HR employees in selecting talented personnel for vacant positions.

Combining Work with Family Commitments

We want to create an optimal working environment for our employees in all life phases and thus safeguard the longterm availability of specialists.

Within the context of our demographic management, we take a range of steps to address the various challenges – including health and sports programs, flexible worktime models, age-appropriate jobs and knowledge management.

In Germany, the updated General Works Agreements on lifetime working and demographic change and on addressing demographic change at the nonmanagerial level at Bayer are among the tools we use to help shape the working environment for all life phases. These General Works Agreements provide for a reduction in employee workloads that was extended to further age groups, as well as measures to ease the return to work of nonmanagerial employees after long-term illness, and an extensive health screening program for all employees.

Fair compensation

As a global enterprise, Bayer enacts uniform standards to ensure that employees are fairly compensated throughout the Group. Our performance and responsibility-related compensation system combines a basic salary with elements based on the company’s success, plus additional benefits. Adjustments based on continuous benchmarking make our compensation internationally competitive.

We attach great importance to equal pay for men and women, and to informing our employees transparently about the overall structure of their compensation.

Bayer compensates employees on both permanent and temporary employment contracts in excess of the statutory minimum wage in the respective countries, paying a living wage that is annually reviewed and specified worldwide by the nonprofit organization Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). That makes Bayer one of the first companies to commit globally to this concept. This also applies to part-time employees whose compensation was proportionately aligned with that of a full-time position.

At Bayer, individual salaries are based on each employee’s personal and professional abilities and the level of responsibility assigned to them. At the managerial level, this is based on uniform evaluation of all positions throughout the Group using the internationally recognized Hay method.

In areas of the Group and jobs that fall within the scope of a binding collective bargaining agreement, there are no differences in pay based on gender. In the Emerging Markets and developing countries, compensation levels are aligned to local market conditions.

Our compensation concept also includes variable one-time payments. In many countries, employee stock programs enable our staff to purchase Bayer shares at a discount. Senior managers throughout the Bayer Group are invited to participate in Aspire, a uniform long-term compensation program based on the development of the share price. For more information, see the Annual Report 2019.

Retirement benefits

Alongside providing attractive compensation for their work, Bayer contributes to the financial security of its current and former employees. Retirement benefit plans are available to 78% of Bayer employees worldwide to complement national pension systems. The benefits provided depend on the legal, fiscal and economic conditions in each country, employee compensation and years of service.

Inclusion and Diversity

Mutual understanding and a company culture that leverages talented employees of various backgrounds and perspectives is an important success factor for the Bayer Group. Bayer creates an inclusive workplace where all employees feel welcome and are able to contribute to bringing best in class solutions for the benefit of all. Inclusion and diversity also plays an important role in meeting and anticipating the needs of our customers.

In 2019, we further developed our inclusion and diversity strategy. Our focus is on the integrative behavior of all managerial and nonmanagerial employees within the Group. The inclusion and diversity strategy incorporates the Business Resource Groups (BRGs), which facilitate networking and thus dialogue and mutual support for employees within the Bayer Group. Various BRGs currently exist at Bayer for LGBT+, employees with disabilities, families and other global and regional employee groups. In 2019, Bayer was once again honored by various organizations as an LGBT+-friendly company.

Employment by Status and Gender

Bayer employees worldwide

The percentage of women in the total headcount remained virtually constant at 40.5% (2018: 40.4%). We focus on achieving a better gender balance in management. In 2019, women accounted for a 40.5% (2018: 41.4%) share of the total of 37,309 managerial employees and a 40.4% (2018: 40.0%) share of specialized personnel. The proportion of women in the Group Leadership Circle, the highest management level below the Board of Management, increased again compared to previous years. By the end of 2019, it was made up of 22.5% women (2010: 6.5%2).

The Group Leadership Circle currently comprises 29 nationalities (2018: 30), with around 65.8% (2018: 67.9%) of its members working in their native country. Information on diversity in our Board of Management and our Supervisory Board can be found in our Corporate Governance Report .

The average age of our employees is 42 (2018: 42). There were no significant changes to the age structure in 2019 compared to 2018.

In 2019, the Board of Management adopted a revised inclusion and diversity strategy for the Bayer Group as a whole to anchor inclusion and diversity even more firmly in the company culture. The comprehensive approach is supported across the organization through a global, regional and local structure.
We are also committed to the hiring and promotion of people with disabilities. Based on voluntary statements by employees, we employ some 2,250 people with disabilities, 46% of whom are women and 54% men. That represents around 2.1% of our total workforce.

2 2018 figure as last reported

Health promotion

Almost 98% (2018: 98%3) of our employees worldwide either have statutory health insurance or can obtain health insurance through the company.

We aim to provide employees in all countries with access to affordable and targeted health offerings such as regular medical check-ups, sports programs, rehabilitation and on-site medical care.

Dialogue and exchange

Bayer encourages a culture of candid feedback and encourages feedback in all directions: from supervisors to employees, between colleagues and from employees to supervisors.

Our managerial employees serve as role models and play an important part in promoting performance and further developing the feedback culture at Bayer. Supervisors have the opportunity to ask their team for feedback about their leadership behavior. The Leadership Pulse feedback tool helps them to understand how their team perceives them in their function as a manager.

Dialogue and exchange

Our employees have the opportunity to discuss company-specific issues and scope for optimization via various communication channels. We actively involve our employees in business processes through dialogue offers. Informing staff in good time and comprehensively about upcoming changes, in compliance with the applicable national and international regulations, is very important to us.

We measure employee engagement at Bayer by means of institutionalized feedback discussions and regular employee surveys. This enables us to monitor the effectiveness of our initiatives and implement any necessary improvements.

Our employees can submit Bayer-related questions through the internal crowdsourcing platform “WeSolve” to solicit innovative, interdisciplinary ideas.

To promote a culture of innovation at the workplace, two additional platforms for making work-related suggestions are available to employees in Germany: the Bayer Ideas Pool and the Ideas Forum. The suggestions made by employees on improving processes, occupational safety and health protection are rewarded and utilized.

figure as last reported

Respecting Employee and Human Rights

As a socially responsible company, Bayer has long been committed to upholding and supporting human rights at various levels. The Bayer Human Rights Position is rooted in a binding Group-wide directive. We respect the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and are a founding member of the UN Global Compact. Our mission, life values and Corporate Compliance Policy commit all employees around the world to fair and lawful conduct toward staff, colleagues, business partners and customers.

Careers at Bayer

Bayer employees: passion to innovate, power to change

We are looking for committed employees who can work responsibly and independently. Our web site “Bayer Global Career Portal” can help you select the most suitable options for a career at Bayer. Or why not surf through our Job Search?