Diversity & Inclusion

Our commitment

Goal-imageClick to enlarge

Our aim is that Solvay is recognized as a truly diverse and inclusive organization.

To achieve this, we are committed to improving the diversity of our workforce and building a more inclusive culture. This commitment is grounded in our principles of ethical behavior, respect for people, customer focus, empowerment and teamwork.

These are at the heart of everything we do, every day, wherever we operate.

Diversity & Inclusion: a word from our CEO and employees

“This is fundamental to our success. By developing a culture of inclusion, and strengthening the diversity of our teams, we’ll realize our global potential.”

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu
Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO

Diversity & Inclusion Policy Highlights

Our principles support the two key features that sit at the heart of our business: diversity of talent and an inclusive culture.


Diversity at Solvay is defined as the visible and invisible differences and similarities between individuals. It describes all the ways in which we are different. Diversity is more than gender, nationality, age, disability, ethnic origins and sexual orientation. It includes thought and belief, culture, education and background. In a business environment, it also includes corporate culture.

Our Commitment covers all dimensions of diversity. We believe that by embracing diversity and working together we will deliver the best possible solutions for our people, customers and stakeholders. Our success and performance are built on our ability to embrace diversity.

Inclusion values and respects difference.A culture of inclusion allows everyone to contribute, in the knowledge that they will be heard and acknowledged.

An inclusive workplace promotes openness, respect and welcomes individual perspectives. We value diversity of thought and promote a culture where people feel respected and connected to the Group’s successes.

Diversity and inclusion are important to us

We believe that a more diverse and inclusive workforce will:
2018-lilac-deliverDeliver higher performance by connecting us to customers more effectively, allowing us to access new markets and attracting more business.
2018-lilac-strengthenStrengthen our capability for innovation by creating an environment that encourages and values individual contributions, talents and perspectives, leveraging our employees’ wealth of knowledge, experiences and skills, and promoting collaboration.
2018-lilac-reflectReflect the societies in which we operate. Society’s expectations and our public commitments require that Solvay is a truly diverse and inclusive organization. Diversity is a pre-requisite for many people, companies and countries with whom we want to do business. To be able to perform effectively in an increasingly complex global economy, we must be able to deal with different cultures with insight, skill and understanding.
2018-lilac-helpHelp us to compete effectively for the best talent and enhance our reputation. Our attractiveness as an employer and socially responsible company will be enhanced, which will attract new talent and help us retain our best people.

The transformation to a more inclusive culture will involve and engage everyone in Solvay. It will generate energy and ideas, forge networks and connections, and encourage high performing and collaborative teams.

Our path to an inclusive organization

We aim to reinforce a culture of inclusion through leadership commitment and employee engagement, and by embedding D&I in relevant policies, practices and programs that involve everyone in our organization.

Commitment from the top

D&I are championed at the highest level in the organization by our Executive Committee and Leadership Council. Each GBU/ Function entity management team is responsible for putting this commitment into practice.

Selected areas of focus

Our commitment covers all dimensions of diversity, visible and invisible. At Group level, four areas of focus will receive specific attention and monitoring to ensure consistent improvement across the organization. Our ambition is to:

  • Leverage experience and backgrounds.

  • Improve the gender balance at all levels of the organization.

  • Develop national/cultural talent that mirrors our growth opportunities.

  • Leverage the generational mix to optimise learning, knowledge and experience.

Business-driven strategy

Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives to meet our growth objectives and strengthen our competitive differentiation. To reflect business objectives and cultural context, business, regional and local leaders will set specific and relevant objectives within the Group D&I framework.

Locally-owned action plan

We recognize that our strategies and action plans have to be locally-owned and driven by entity, region and country, taking into consideration local laws, customs and priorities.

People Management

We recruit, manage and develop individuals according to their qualifications, skills and experience but also to the business context as well as the needs of the team.

Fully embedded in our Group DNA

Becoming a truly inclusive organization will take time, energy and commitment at all levels. Building a company-wide culture of diversity and inclusion will require behavior change at Group, local, team and individual levels. This requires individual ownership of the policy.

Group Ambitions 2020

Solvay commitment covers all dimensions of diversity, visible and invisible. At Group level, four areas of focus in terms of diversity will receive specific attention and monitoring to ensure consistent improvement across the organization.

INCLUSION: To respect, promote and value all aspects of diversity across the Group

TARGET 2020: Significantly increase Inclusion and Diversity index (measured by engagement survey) From 70% in 2015 to 75% in 2020

Experience & Background


Enrich team mix by leveraging experiences and backgrounds



Improve the gender mix at all levels of the organisation

TARGET 2020:

At least 20%* of our senior executive positions will be held by women



Develop national/cultural talent that mirrors our growth opportunities



Leverage the generation mix to optimise learning, knowledge and experience

*13% in 2015