Diversity and inclusion

As a globally active company, GF is committed to greater diversity and inclusion on many levels. The goal is to create a diverse and inclusive work environment where inspiration, cooperation and innovation can grow and employees are empowered to perform at their best.

GF supports a diverse and inclusive culture where people’s unique identities, experiences and perspectives come together to create intelligent customer solutions and address societal and environmental challenges.

Diversity refers to accepting and celebrating the rich spectrum of personal and social differences that make each person unique. These include, but are not limited to, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental ability, as well as religious and political beliefs or associations.

Inclusion refers to fostering a work environment where all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and feel empowered to contribute to their personal and organizational success.

Different identities, experiences and perspectives help create intelligent solutions to meet customer needs, and societal and environmental challenges.

New policy on diversity, engagement and inclusion

In 2022, GF published its new Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion Policy, consolidating various directives and practices. The policy aims to achieve the company's three primary goals:

Gender balance

Progress in 2022

In 2022, 29% of newly appointed managers were women (compared with 30% in 2021). GF is exceeding its target of 25% newly appointed women managers by 2025. Also in 2022, 17.2% (165 full-time equivalents or FTEs) of managers were women – compared with 15.8% in 2021 or 114 FTEs in 2021. Overall, 20% of employees (2’941 FTEs) were women in 2022 (compared with 19.5% or 2’817 FTEs in 2021).

By 2025:

Newly appointed women managers
in %

Empowering women

GF’s target for empowering women at work is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – "Empower all women and girls". In particular, the company focused on target 5.5: "Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life".

In line with these goals, an independent federal wage equality analysis confirmed that the company's wages across genders in Switzerland are fair and equitable. In the year 2022, GF further conducted the equal pay analyses in Switzerland with a certified external partner using the well-accepted L&M-Aba R® method. The outcome confirms compliance with GF’s internal equal pay for equal work pay practices and guidelines. The analyses conducted in the year 2021 have been successfully verified by an independent external auditor. The analysis conducted in 2022 is currently being verified. GF will provide information about the outcome of the audit in its next report.

To further support women's empowerment, the company also encourages regular engagement and exchanges between its women Board members and women employees.

GF’s target for empowering women at work is in line with the UN SDG 5 – "Empower all women and girls".

Actions for promoting gender equality

GF joined "Advance", a business association of 120 leading Swiss companies promoting gender equality. Through its membership, employees – including women leaders from various departments – participated in online "Advance" events and shared best practices with D&I experts from other companies.

HR launched the "Women@GF" initiative to strengthen the influence of women in the company. Over 450 participants across all three divisions joined events focused on topics such as emotional intelligence, work-life balance and the benefits of networking for women. Towards the end of 2022, GF Casting Solutions expanded this initiative, renaming it "Diversity@GF" and opening it up to all colleagues interested or involved in these important topics. 

As part of its participation in Engineer's Day 2022, GF offered an online exchange for women interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During the event, women in engineering roles at the company talked about their jobs and contributions. The exchange enabled STEM professionals and university graduates to gain valuable insights about GF employees, their careers and their professional experiences.

The "Women@GF"/"Diversity@GF" initiative focuses on topics of importance to women and others – including personal branding, negotiating skills and overcoming challenges.

In addition, the company launched its first-ever employer branding social media campaign focusing on women working in various fields. "The Winning Formula" global campaign highlighted what working at the company is like and what makes women successful at GF.

D&I training and development

The company formally rolled out two training programs it had piloted in 2021. They aimed to raise awareness about the strengths of D&I and promote its broader adoption. In the first program, "Women in Leadership", 24 women leaders from Germany, Austria and Switzerland came together to compare, discuss and strengthen their leadership styles and extend their network of women professionals.

In the second program, 24 recruiters and managers from these same countries participated in awareness training regarding unconscious biases in recruiting, promotion and performance evaluations. The sessions covered topics ranging from improving self-awareness to enhancing one's visual and verbal perception. This training helps these experts to acknowledge and reduce unconscious biases in performance reviews and during conversations with team members about their career progression.

Participants in the "Women in Leadership" program discuss and strengthen their leadership style and network.

First global D&I survey

Late in 2022, GF also conducted its first global D&I survey across all three divisions and its corporate headquarters. The survey measured employees' attitudes and perceptions of a diverse and inclusive workplace. The company will use the results, due in the first quarter of 2023, to identify areas where improvements are required.

Moving beyond gender balance

In late 2022, D&I was the focus of an issue of Globe, the global employee magazine published in eight languages. In it, employees shared their day-to-day experience with D&I. The example of a four-member team at GF Machining Solutions in Chicago, where the diverse backgrounds – including age, gender, work experience, cultures and personalities – is representative of the many employees in the company. For this team, diversity means that everyone has specific, individual skills and experiences. As one team member says, when problem solving, what matters is working together as one team to get the best input, not how people look.

In problem solving, what matters is working together as one team to get the best input.

Career development for mature employees

In Switzerland, GF offers employees aged 45 and older options to support them with a professional re-orientation should they want or need to change direction in their career, or if they would like to continue working beyond retirement age.

These employees have access to a platform run by "Loopings", a specialist agency that works with companies to prolong or help change the career or profession of employees in this age group. The platform provides them with information on life-long learning, opportunities to network with others, as well as webinars and other events on professional development at this stage in one's professional life.

In addition, employees aged 58 and older may take a specific three-day course to prepare for changes in their lifestyle upon retirement. Employees' partners are also invited and encouraged to attend the program.