Our purpose is what unites us at Henkel North America: Pioneers at heart for the good of generations. Our pioneering spirit is reflective of the diverse backgrounds, experiences and talents of our employees and partners. They dare to make an impact for the world by collaborating to tackle challenges, find solutions and open up new perspectives.
As a Senior Scientist at Henkel, Gerhard supports the beauty care business and its market-leading brands. He takes his passion for chemistry and uses it to help deliver innovative solutions for customers and promote diverse representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Gerhard was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States at the age of thirteen. He initially had plans to pursue a career path in the medical field, but after taking research labs in undergraduate school he became interested in a career in chemistry.
When it comes to the beauty industry and the products Gerhard and his team formulates, representation is important. “Having people working in the lab who represent the broader population can go far in developing products that meet the needs of all consumers,” he says.
Incorporating diverse perspectives is an absolute necessity in the R&D process and within our teams.
Gerhard Kummerow, Senior Scientist, Henkel Consumer Brands
In addition to his role as a scientist at Henkel, Gerhard is active in the community and involved in various professional development organizations and employee resource groups (ERGs) at Henkel.
One of Gerhard’s missions is to encourage interest in STEM and build a more diverse pipeline of future STEM talent. As co-founder and mentoring chair for Henkel’s ¡Unidos! ERG, Gerhard works with MentorSHPE, a program that aims to empower the Hispanic community to realize its full potential by partnering students with professionals in the STEM field. This year, 12 Henkel employees mentored and provided guidance for Hispanic students aspiring to be STEM professionals through the MentorSHPE program.
“Working with and mentoring emerging STEM talent has been such a fulfilling experience,” he says. “Not only do I get the opportunity to give back by sharing my expertise and advice, but it is exciting to learn from and foster the growth of this next generation of scientists who will be pioneering new products and solutions that can improve lives and even change the world.”
In addition to his work with Henkel’s ¡Unidos! ERG, Gerhard also serves as a leader for the PRIDE ERG. Through both ERGs, Gerhard has been able to connect with employees from all over the world and support emerging professionals.
Gerhard hopes to see employees continue to get involved with Henkel’s mentoring programs and believes the ERGS are an important way to connect with each other. “Our work feels more meaningful when we have a community that supports us,” said Gerhard. “It’s important that people feel included at work so they can be as successful as possible.”
Gerhard (second from right) with ¡Unidos!, colleagues at the 2023 Henkel ERG Symposium.
Gerhard joined in with over 100 Henkel colleagues to show unity at the 2023 NYC Pride parade.
Henkel colleagues from across Henkel’s ERGS, volunteered at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to help pack food for those in need and help fight hunger.
For the third year, the Henkel PRIDE ERG supported the Triangle Community Center’s annual PRIDE in the Park event in Norwalk, CT to nurture growth and connection in the LGBTQ+ community.