Press Release

Firmenich Achieves Milestone for Inclusion with Swiss LGBTI Label


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, 15 SEPTEMBER, 2020 - Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned Perfume and Taste company, is proud to announce that it has received the Swiss LGBTI* Label in recognition of its inclusive organizational culture that promotes a sense of belonging for LGBTI people. Following a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the Group’s policies, action and communication, Firmenich became one of the first four companies and institutions in French-speaking western Switzerland to be awarded the certification.


“We are incredibly proud that our global Diversity & Belonging program has been endorsed by the Swiss LGBTI Label, in recognition of our concrete action to ensure equity and inclusion for LGBTI people,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich. “Firmenich fosters a culture of belonging, free from discrimination, where all our colleagues can be their best self at work and thrive regardless of their identity; we are convinced this is essential to enrich our social capital and drive real progress and winning performance in the workplace.”


Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief HR Officer Firmenich, said: “As a family-owned business we have always prioritized fostering a culture of belonging to ensure everyone feels respected, valued and heard. We look forward to building on our experience with the Swiss LGBTI Label to reinforce inclusion for all our colleagues worldwide.”


Daniel Seiler, President of the Swiss LGBTI label, said: “We congratulate Firmenich on being the first in its industry in Switzerland and one of the first four companies in western Switzerland to receive our Swiss LGBTI label. The label recognizes the exceptional work done by Firmenich SA to foster equality and inclusion of LGBTI People in the workplace. Firmenich SA went successfully through a very comprehensive assessment of the inclusiveness of its organizational practices. We applaud the very positive journey engaged by Firmenich, its contribution to societal positive change and its impact beyond its industry.”


The Group’s pioneering “Diversity and Belonging” agenda embraces people from a diversity of backgrounds, race, gender, identity, age, experience, perspectives, sexual orientation and people with different abilities. This exemplary approach was recognized with Firmenich receiving the Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Award in 2019. Furthermore, Firmenich was the seventh company worldwide, and the first in its industry, to be globally certified in 2018 as a gender equal employer by EDGE, the world’s leading certification standard in this area.


With the Swiss LGBTI Label, Firmenich was commended for being a role model through its open public commitments, including by signing up to the United Nations’ LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business in 2019 and its participation in the UN General Assembly Panel Discussion on advancing LGBTI rights in New York. Our policies on inclusion include the equal provision of employee benefits to different or same sex partners, extended parental leave regardless of gender, explicit commitments to non-discrimination and fighting harassment, as well as psychological safeguards.


Until today, 18 companies and institutions had been certified by the Label, all based in German-speaking Switzerland. The Swiss LGBTI Label was developed by the business networks NETWORK and WYBERNET, with the help of the non-profit umbrella associations TGNS, PINK CROSS, LOS and FAMILLES ARC-EN-CIEL. Firmenich partnered with the association EPICENE, which supports transgender people, to complete the certification and define our next steps.


(*) LGTBI: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex


Related links


Helping Everyone Belong

About Firmenich


Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895 and has been family-owned for 125 years. Firmenich is a leading business-to-business company operating primarily in the fragrance and taste market, specialized in the research, creation, manufacture and sale of perfumes, flavors and ingredients. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich offers its customers superior innovation in formulation, a broad and high-quality palette of ingredients, and proprietary technologies including biotechnology, encapsulation, olfactory science and taste modulation. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.9 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2020.