Barbara Hendricks started her political career in 1972 when she joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany. Between 1978 and 1981, Dr Hendricks was a desk officer in the press office of the SPD parliamentary group.
After completing her PhD in history at the University of Bonn in 1980, Dr Hendricks became the spokesperson for the Minister of Finance of North Rhine-Westphalia (1981-1990).
She was Head of Cross-Border Planning Division for the Ministry of Environment, Regional Planning and Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia between 1991 to 1994.
She has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1994 and was continually nominated for almost 10 years (1998 to 2007) as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance and has been Treasurer of the SPD since 2007.
In December 2013 she became the Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, a position that she holds today.