Umicore seeks to benefit as much as possible from diversity, for example in gender, culture and ethnicity. Umicore believes that more diverse management teams improve the quality of decision-making. Umicore developed a group policy on diversity to support an inclusive work culture that offers equal opportunities, leading to a high level of employee engagement for all employees, irrespective of their diverse backgrounds. Diversity includes gender, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, cultural background, social group, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, age or political opinion.

We are especially seeking broader cultural representation in our management teams. Currently, 18.49% of the top management positions in Umicore are filled by non-Europeans, up from 2018. Considering that 60% of our revenues are generated outside Europe and our growing global footprint, we decided to act to ensure that non-Europeans are better represented in our senior management. Our efforts continue, as a better balance in this regard will enable us to make business decisions that are better aligned with the markets we serve.

Umicore employees cover 74 nationalities, and in 2019, 42 nationalities were included among our new hires, both up from 2018 levels.

Women are underrepresented at senior management level at Umicore. While this can be partly ascribed to the fact that chemical companies tend to attract fewer women, the career prospects for talented women can still be improved within Umicore. In 2019, only 20.88% of Umicore employees were female, a slight drop from 2018. This is attributed to our growth in industrial operations, where candidates are usually male. Women continue to be more prevalent in administrative, support and commercial functions than in industrial operation roles.

Women in management roles have steadily increased from 18.65% in 2010 to 23.13%. in 2019. While there was an increase in the overall number of women managers in “business operations” functions compared to 2018, the total number of managers in these functions also grew, leading to a slightly decreased share of women in these roles from 15.08% in 2018 to 14.90% in 2019. These functions are considered a pipeline for senior leadership positions.

Women in senior management increased to 10.96% in 2019, up from 9.7% in 2018. In 2015 we set the ambition of reaching 15% of women in senior management functions by 2020 and we will strive to reach this goal at the earliest possible date.

The Coaching Circles training program for female managers in Belgium offers a combination of mentoring, coaching, training and networking. This program was developed by the Focus on Women platform, in support of Umicore’s diversity and inclusion policy with the purpose of making women more aware of their capacities and stimulating them to take their career actively into their own hands. In 2019, 18 managers participated in the program.

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