Diversity & Inclusion
“Our programs aim to benefit smallholders regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion or other such differences. We are committed to ensuring an inclusive workplace for all staff, where diversity of person, thought and experience are valued and respected. We wish to work alongside like-minded partners to promote these principles.”
Simon Winter, Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.
The Foundation’s headquarters are in Basel, Switzerland. Our country and regional staff are primarily based in:
- Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, China, South-East Asia
- Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya
Our more than 150 employees represent some 15 nationalities and a wide variety of professional backgrounds.
Why it means so much for us
We want to support smallholders, but first, we need to understand their needs. By knowing different groups’ roles and preferences, we can build on their strengths, and provide access to what they lack.
Women play crucial roles in agriculture. They are usually the main farmworkers, and the local sellers, buyers, and preparers of food. But they are typically heavily disadvantaged.
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls is important. It highlights gender equality as a human right and a basis for peace, prosperity, and sustainability. Women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Focus on neglected groups. Other social groups also need empowerment, e.g. rural youth. This increasingly affects decisions by development agencies, the private sector, and our program partners.
See what our Director posted about D&I in January 2020.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Policy
With our Policy, we want to promote practices that create and maintain a supportive, high-performance, team-orientated culture in order to:
- Enable the development of agricultural innovations for smallholders, and for them to use these innovations productively and profitably
- Encourage partnerships and develop scalable programs with high and inclusive impact
- Help attract, retain and advance capable, skilled persons in our teams by valuing diversity and inclusion, investing in development and opportunities, and providing a fair and safe working environment for all.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Policy: Key topics
- Innovation and creativity: We want to encourage Diversity & Inclusion to promote innovation & creativity for all our staff
- Beneficiaries: We want to better understand smallholders’ and agri-entrepreneurs’ individual needs and wishes, so they can participate fully in local economic life.
- Staff: We respect the unique contributions that different social groups bring to our workplaces and collaborations.
- Safety in diversity: We are pushing for a working environment in which employees feel safe to be themselves, without fear of discrimination.
- Collaborations: We promote diversity throughout our programs and partnerships.
- Monitoring performance: We want to maintain a high-performing culture that values diversity.
- Collective responsibility: All our employees respect the Diversity & Initiative Policy in offices, project sites, and programs.
Our work in D&I also builds on the Syngenta Code of Conduct (see links below). Key points from the Code, adapted for use of our name, are:
We ensure our diversity policies provide fair treatment for all employees and we aim for the highest, internationally acknowledged benchmarks of fairness, honesty, and integrity.
The Syngenta Foundation values diversity and fosters a culture that allows each individual to contribute to his or her fullest potential. We actively recruit employees to reflect the broad range of cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds of the communities where we operate and the customers we serve. We treat every employee with honesty, dignity, fairness, and respect.
Discrimination and harassment
We do not tolerate discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, family status, political views, or any other characteristics protected by law. We prohibit harassment in any form, including verbal, sexual, physical, mental, and visual harassment, abuse, humiliation, or intimidation. Every employee must respect the rights of colleagues to work free from any form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. We make decisions about people for the purpose of recruitment, development, or promotion purely on the basis of their performance, ability, and potential in relation to the requirements of the job. We encourage any employee who believes they have suffered discrimination or harassment to report it to their managers, or through the Syngenta Group Compliance Helpline. We will investigate every report impartially and follow up on proven violations with appropriate measures.
It is the duty of Syngenta Foundation employees to speak up immediately if they know or believe that anyone is not complying with the Code of Conduct. There is no retaliation for speaking up. Employees can speak to their managers or members of the Compliance team at any time. Employees can also use the Compliance Helpline for confidential reporting. The Syngenta Foundation takes compliance violations seriously and will investigate all valid compliance concerns. When a violation has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
Diversity & Inclusion Champions
The D&I Champions are our regional “face and voice” for topics related to Diversity & Inclusion. They act as good examples and encourage the local application of SFSA’s D&I Policy and related action plan. Our gallery below shows who they are.
Meet some Champions
From time to time, we feature individual D&I Champions on our website. Meet:
Moshfequel Alam Talukder
Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee
Rebecca Hubert Scherler - Legal Counsel
Victoria Johnson-Chadwick - Head of Partnerships
Simon Winter - Executive Director
Vivienne Anthony - Senior Scientific Advisor
Baskar Reddy - Country Director India
Mamadou Cisse & Paul Castle: Communications