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Uniqueness is our talent


At Umicore, we recognize and appreciate each individual’s uniqueness. Our set of thoughts, beliefs, preferences, and backgrounds makes us who we are and allow us to bring new ideas to the table, making our teams excel. Communicating with each other is an essential element to connect, inspire and share ideas that allow us to innovate and bring sustainable solutions. 
We are proud that within Umicore, different colleagues speak different languages. Sign language couldn’t be the exception. Our colleague Edson has been with us for 11 years, working at Umicore Guarulhos, Brazil. With the help of a translator, he currently works as a production operator for our business unit Jewelry and Industrial Metals. Edson shared with us a bit of his day-to-day at Umicore: “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.”   
“I wake up very early in the morning and take the bus to work. I enjoy having my breakfast at Umicore just before I clock in and start working”, shared Edson. He is happy to be able to connect with colleagues throughout the day. Colleagues at the site have also learned a few phrases in sign language through internal training, making it even easier to interact. “During the day, I communicate with my colleagues in signs, and they know a little bit of sign language, even some jokes. I can also write or mimic to communicate with them.”   

Edson enjoys working at Umicore, especially his interactions with other colleagues. “Umicore is an inclusive company that respects and supports the uniqueness of each individual. I have always felt welcomed and respected by all colleagues.” 
When interviewing Edson, we got to talk with his interpreter Hélio, an interpreter for 17 years already. “ My career started many years ago, but I have been working as an interpreter for Umicore helping deaf-mute employees for the last seven years”.  His work aligns with Edson’s olans, ensuring he is up to speed with his meetings and the topics to be discussed. Furthermore, he also checks upfront his presentations, videos, or printed material that he might be sharing. “The interaction occurs both in the social and professional spheres, understanding each individual and their needs, making a connection, and building trust. In the professional aspect, for example, whether in the process of translating material or interpreting a lecture or workshop, I am first familiarized with the content through a detailed briefing.” 
Hélio shared he valued Umicore’s initiative and thinks that being an inclusive company also means looking into the future by engaging and empowering employees. “This shows how much Umicore respects people as individuals, not only promoting diversity and inclusion but also contributing to their development.  I believe that “inclusion,” which is a social responsibility, improves the organizational environment, increases productivity, generates innovation, and has an impact on the companies' business, generating even more value for stakeholders.”