Diversity & Inclusion


Our programs aim to benefit smallholders regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or other 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, SFSA



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 5Achieve 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 D&I 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.


Key topics

  • Innovation and creativity We want to encourage Diversity & Inclusion to promote innovation & creativity for all our staff
  • Beneficiaries We want to understand better 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 where 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 the use of our name, are:

We ensure our diversity policies provide fair treatment for all employees and aim for the highest, internationally acknowledged benchmarks of fairness, honesty, and integrity. 

The Syngenta Foundation values diversity and fosters a culture allowing individuals to contribute to their 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 other protected characteristics. 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 recruitment, development, or promotion purely based on their performance, ability, and potential for the job requirements. 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.

Speaking up
Syngenta Foundation employees must speak up immediately if they know or believe anyone needs to comply with the Code of Conduct. There is no retaliation for speaking up. Employees can speak to their managers or Compliance team members 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. 

D&I 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: 

and our earlier Champions

Mahbubul Alam

Mahbubul Alam

Nourin Akhter

Nourin Akhter

Katre Ravindra

Katre Ravindra 

Adisti Novarinda

Adisti Novarinda

Elizabeth Imbo

Elizabeth Imbo 

Lilian Ayoo

Lilian Ayoo

Samuel Guindo

Samuel Guindo

Frank Olajuwon

Frank Olajuwon 

Ousmane Sow

Ousmane Sow

Marnie Pannatier

Marnie Pannatier 

Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee

Rebecca Hubert Scherler - Legal Counsel

Victoria Johnson-Chadwick - Head of Partnerships

Simon Winter - Executive Director

Lucy Kioko - Regional Director EA- SFSA

Vivienne Anthony - Senior Scientific Advisor

Farhad Zamil - Country Director, Bangladesh

Paul Castle - Communications