My history with Covestro: From librarian to digital specialist

My name is Sabine Henrich. I’m 54 years old, live in Dormagen and have been with the company for 31 years, making me one of the “dinosaurs” on the workforce. ;-)

In my free time, I like doing things with my family, gardening, going to flea markets or the pool, and I support a number of charitable organizations. Since early 2016, I have been supervising an international team in my position as head of Digital Communications. We advise and support our colleagues all over the world in all questions relating to the internet, intranet, social media and much more.

After majoring in library science, I worked in Bayer’s research libraries for 14 years, where I was one of the first people in the mid-1990s to get internet access. It’s hard to believe that back then, you needed executive approval for something like that! An article even appeared in an edition of the employee magazine, explaining in detail for the first time what the purpose of the internet was and how it works – things everyone knows about today.

The digital world is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives – and is also a fascinating challenge for Covestro
I helped set up the very first intranet, learned some programming languages on my own and took advantage of the opportunity in 1999 to transfer to Central Market Research as a webmaster. There I was the technical team lead for setting up various websites and databases.

In 2003 I transferred to Electronic Communications in the former plastics division of Bayer, which is now Covestro. A number of intensive years then followed with a wide range of responsibilities for digital projects and even editorial work, such as on our factbook or articles for the employee magazine.

An exciting announcement was then made in fall 2014: Bayer MaterialScience was going to be carved out under a new name! After nearly 30 years at Bayer, and with a bit of a strange feeling, but also excitement, the idea of actively helping to create an entirely new company immediately grabbed me. Something like that only happens once in a lifetime – it was fantastic! Together with my IT colleagues at Bayer, I supported the Digital Communications work stream and on September 1, 2015, the birthday of our new company, Covestro, we went live on schedule worldwide with all our digital sites, our new name and logo. There was a lot of work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but also tremendous joy over the achievement! The celebration afterwards was wonderful, and we had truly earned it! The initial public offering, which also had to be prepared from start to finish, took place soon after in October 2015. Here again we enjoyed great, intense, cross-team collaboration, which led to a very successful stock market launch and a share price that has been climbing steadily ever since.

What makes working at Covestro so special
One of the things I like most about Covestro is our extensive network of diverse people and departments in all regions of the world. Our team is also multicultural, and the members complement one another perfectly. We have so many inspiring projects, most of which involve a more or less large percentage of digital technology, so work is never boring for me or my colleagues. The latest technology helps us to stay in contact worldwide and to drive projects that span the globe. We travel every now and then, too, of course, but we are masters of virtual project planning and collaboration. Online meetings, video conferences, on-screen presentations: They’re all part of our regular daily routine. This way, even our Chinese, Indian, Australian and American colleagues are just a click away.

Many years ago, I became severely disabled by rheumatism, but it never limited me in my career. I received the encouragement and support I needed because of my health and career path. It was this that enabled me to accept my current position as head of Digital Communications with a good feeling and a lot of curiosity about the upcoming challenges.

Regular events on subjects like Diversity & Inclusion, and the easy exchange with colleagues around the world are a big inspiration to me. It’s all living proof that Covestro really is colorful and actively promotes diversity in all directions. We all enthusiastically do our part: To make the world a brighter place!