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#EmbraceEquity at Umicore


On International Women’s Day 2023, Umicore is embracing equity. But what is equity and how is it different from equality?

Equality versus Equity

The words equity and equality are often used interchangeably, however they mean very different things.

Equality refers to treating everyone the same way, regardless of their individual needs and circumstances. It's based on the assumption that everyone starts from the same position and has the same opportunities and that treating everyone equally will result in fairness. Equality focuses on providing all genders with equal opportunities, like job opportunities as an example.

Equity, on the other hand, recognizes that people have different needs and circumstances and therefore require different resources and support to achieve fairness. Equity involves providing individuals with the necessary resources and support to help them overcome barriers and achieve equal outcomes.

In a nutshell, while equality is about treating everyone the same way, equity is treating everyone fairly by providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

Equity at Umicore

At Umicore, we foster an inclusive environment by hiring individuals with diverse experiences, thereby narrowing the equality gap. This diversity of experiences brings new perspectives and promotes our commitment to achieving Zero Inequality, which is a key pillar of our Let's Go for Zero ambition. Zero Inequality means that every person is valued, treated, and paid equally for their efforts, without any discrimination or bias. Our targets are aligned with the principles of equality:

  • 100% equal pay
  • Gender parity as soon as possible with 35% women in management by 2030
  • Increased cultural diversity by 2035

Although these targets are based on the principles of equality, we prioritize both equality and equity in our diversity and inclusion efforts.

While we have specific targets for equality, we recognize the importance of equity in ensuring that every individual is supported according to their unique needs and circumstances. As an inclusive company, we respect and value the uniqueness of each individual. This includes providing additional support to underrepresented groups, including women, who may face specific challenges and require tailored resources to achieve equality with their peers.

We are proud that within Umicore, different colleagues speak different languages. Sign language couldn’t be the exception.

 “To integrate and interact with my team and get acquainted with the various topics in the company, Umicore provides a sign language translator who helps me for the most important meetings and all the trainings.”


Lastly, Umicore supports and fosters voluntary, employee led ‘Employee Resource Groups’ (ERGs), initiatives and events.  

Focus on Women is a bottom-up initiative at Umicore seeking to increase awareness about matters related to female talent and leadership while inspiring female colleagues. The platform recently organized a series of speed networking events on authentic leadership.