“At Empa, different people with diverse concepts of life from diverse cultural backgrounds research and work together. This diversity is an essential part of the nurturing ground on which creativity, innovation and ultimately our success thrives.” André Schmid, Head of HR
Diversity as an organizational concept
Diversity is an organizational concept aimed at recognizing and promoting difference both among employees as well as various characteristics of one employee, reducing disadvantage and achieving equity. This approach has been defined in various disciplines (psychology, sociology, management).
At Empa, we live diversity in a wide variety of dimensions (cf. Plummer 2003: age, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental disability, sexual identity, nationality, religion and status or function in the organization). This diversity is an asset. By promoting diversity, more creativity can be unleashed. We expand our resources, optimize collaboration, and prevent one-dimensional thinking (Rahnfeld C., 2019).
Some group members are underrepresented, are (even unconsciously) discriminated against or feel discriminated against. In addition, there can also occur so-called "intersectionality". This means that individuals can be part of several diversity dimensions, possibly also of several minority or discriminated groups. It is important to us to sensitize all Empa employees to the different diversity dimensions and thereby strengthen cooperation. The uniqueness of each person at Empa is valued and promoted. This is the basis for successful inclusion and ultimately for the outstanding cooperation at Empa.
As part of a respect campaign, Empa created the "Code of Conduct" for respectful interaction in 2018 (internal access required).
“Our more than 1,000 employees from over 50 nations bring with them cultural and personal diversity. A culture of respect is therefore just as important as innovation and creativity.” Patricia Nitzsche, HR Partner & Deputy Head of HR.
Due to constant globalization, cultural diversity is receiving greater weight. This diversity refers to value systems in which people have grown up or lived for a longer period of time and can vary depending on origin, religious affiliation, nationality, etc. At Empa people from more than 50 countries and different cultural contexts work together. Unbiased information and discussion about values promotes our mutual understanding and thus creates the basis for outstanding cooperation.
As part of its action plan for equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, Empa aims to strengthen the intercultural competence of its employees. One start is understanding different cultures and value systems.
For this purpose, we provide you with culture-specific Do's and Don'ts brochures (the selected nations cover 5 of the most represented nationalities at Empa). They serve as a support for cooperation and as a basis for mutual understanding and open exchange.
Have a look at the brochures:
Webinar on «Multicultural Awareness and Working Successfully Across Cultures»
Irene Hotz-Glanzmann from intercultures swiss gave an exciting presentation on "Multicultural Awareness and Working Successfully Across Cultures" at the Empa Leadership Forum in October 2021. Watch the webinar online here.
- Fereidooni, K., & Zeoli, A. P. (2016). Managing Diversity. Die diversitätsbewusste Ausrichtung des Bildungs-und Kulturwesens, der Wirtschaft und Verwaltung (Research). Online verfügbar unter http://dx. doi. org/10.1007/978-3-658-14047-2.
- Plummer, D. L. (2003). Handbook of diversity management: Beyond awareness to competency based learning. University Press of America.
- Rahnfeld, C. (2019). Diversity management. SpringerGabler, Wiesbaden.
 Please note that these brochures may reflect stereotypes and we recognize that each person is unique in their own way.