Chr. Hansen, Hoersholm HQ, outside, Denmark

An inclusive culture strengthens the family feeling

It’s the month for celebrating diversity and inclusion! Meet our colleague Sten Holmgaard Soerensen, who works as a Senior Technician in Fresh Dairy Tech Support, Global Application, and just married his husband after 30 years together.


What is it that you like about working for Chr. Hansen?

Chr. Hansen has always had strong principles for conducting its business based on high ethics and quality. It’s a great, responsible and flexible workplace. 

I am a “Hansen man” to the bone, and I think of myself as a strong cultural fit. I can vouch for everything Chr. Hansen is and does; the orderly way Chr. Hansen acts and does business fits very well with my mentality. 

At Chr. Hansen, people genuinely care about each other and can have some fun while working hard. I also enjoy the social activities and clubs that are offered to Chr. Hansen employees, such as the wine club, art club, theater club and more. I am a huge fan of socializing with colleagues in my spare time.

What delivery from you and your team are you most proud of?

I am proud simply to work with our products every day because they are world-class! In a technical support function like ours, we receive urgent customer requests daily and must make hard prioritizations. We have an exceptionally great teamwork, where we indeed rely on each other, and I can always count on a colleague taking over for me if for some reason I can’t be at work. We also have an open, honest and supportive environment. The way we work together is what I am most proud of.

 

June is Pride Month celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, and for the first time, Chr. Hansen Denmark will participate in the Copenhagen Pride Parade in August. What does this mean to you?

I think it’s fantastic that Chr. Hansen joins the Pride! Not only is it a really big thing that reinforces the family feeling in the company and further sustains the open and inclusive environment we are lucky enough to have in Denmark; it also strengthens our employer branding and helps to attract well-educated representatives from the LGBTQ+ community on a heated labor market. Now it’s official: Chr. Hansen embraces employees to bring their full self to work every day, no need to lie or pretend, at the job interview or later. You are accepted as a whole person. That relieves a lot of stress which allows impacted colleagues to contribute even more.

Chr. Hansen is already strongly positioned when it comes to including foreign colleagues working across geographies, so it should be easy to expand the inclusiveness. It’s simply part of Chr. Hansen’s inherent decency! And it sends a strong signal to less LGBTQ+ friendly countries that within the four walls of Chr. Hansen, it’s a safe space where the company has your back.


Is there a message you would like to send to young LGBTQ+ colleagues? 

What I can do is share my story for inspiration – and prove by my example to young people that even though they may think their world is going to halfway collapse because they are different than the majority, then think again! The world doesn’t collapse. Even if some doors might close, there are so many other doors opening. 

That is also why Chr. Hansen’s engagement in this agenda is so critical. We should have a community to help and support young colleagues on an ongoing basis, a community with activities and interest groups ensuring a safe space for young colleagues to come out. It is a landmark event to come out, and there is no going back. You need all the support you can get. 


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