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Firmenich Joins Valuable 500, Promoting Disability Inclusion in the Workplace

Geneva, Switzerland, May 16th, 2019 – Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, is proud to announce that it is the first company in Switzerland to become a member of the Valuable 500, a global campaign which strives to put disability on the management agendas of the world’s leading businesses. Building on its global EDGE certification for gender equality, Firmenich is taking its diversity agenda to the next level, alongside 25 global companies including Unilever, Accenture, Microsoft and Virgin Media.

“We want to make sure Firmenich remains the most inspirational place to work in our industry with a culture and working environment that enables all our colleagues to thrive,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “We have been walking the talk on diversity and inclusion for over four decades, and count already hundreds of highly talented colleagues with different abilities within our operations globally. Partnering with the Valuable 500 will enable us to exchange best practices with like-minded companies to accelerate this movement.”

Around the world some 1.3 billion people live with some form of disability – 15% of the global population – yet they are widely under presented in the workforce. While 90% of companies claim to prioritize diversity, only 4% focus on making offerings that are disability-inclusive.

Speaking at the annual Bloomberg Equality Summit in London, Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500 commented:

“It’s wonderful to have Firmenich on board as the first company in Switzerland to sign up to The Valuable 500 paving the way for other global businesses to become more inclusive. Firmenich has a long legacy of supporting disability in the workplace, so we look forward to working with them as they strive to become even more diverse. When global business makes a move, society follows and we need other businesses to open up opportunities for the billion disabled people around the world in order to end a la carte inclusion in the workplace.”

Firmenich’s disability commitments build on the company’s long legacy of pioneering diversity and inclusion programs. More than 40 years ago, Firmenich began working with a local non-profit in Switzerland, specialized in the inclusion of people with physical and cognitive impairments. Since then, the company kept expanding this work, touching hundreds of colleagues. Firmenich also offers opportunities to blind and visually impaired professionals across its sensory panels in seven countries (Switzerland, UK, India, Singapore, China, Mexico and Brazil). With an acute memory for flavors and odors, they are highly proficient sensory professionals and demonstrate superior results in a short timeframe, playing a critical role in the Group’s business success.

The Valuable 500, an initiative launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos this year, calls on global business leaders to guarantee disability inclusion in their organizations. The first truely global campaign, signatories include businesses from the UK and US, to Australia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and Switzerland.


About Firmenich
Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895. Driven by its purpose to create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing, naturally, Firmenich has designed many of the world’s best-known perfumes and tastes, bringing delight to over four billion consumers every day. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, each year, Firmenich invests 10% of its turnover in R&D to understand and share the best that nature has to offer responsibly. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2018.

About Valuable 500
The Valuable 500 is a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda. The Valuable 500 was established in 2018 following EY research which demonstrates that disability is only discussed by about 4% of global businesses, with an aim to unlock the value of people living with disabilities across the world. To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit: https://www.thevaluable500.com/
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