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Our employees

As a company and as individuals, we act with integrity and commit to the highest standards of business ethics. We promote equal opportunity, foster diversity and we create a no-harm-to-anyone working environment across our organization. Our values are ingrained in our culture and connect us all as One Bekaert team.

We act with integrity · We earn trust · We are irrepressible!

(GRI 102-16)


Embracing diversity

At Bekaert, we believe in working together to achieve better performance. As a truly global company, we embrace diversity across all levels in the organization, which is a major source of strength for our company. This applies to diversity in terms of nationality, cultural background, age or gender, but also in terms of capabilities, business experience, insights and views.

Nationality diversity

Bekaert employs people of 50 different nationalities in 44 countries around the world. This diversity is mirrored in all levels of the organization, as well as in the composition of the Board of Directors.

(GRI 405-1)


NATIONALITY DIVERSITY As Per 31 December 2019        
  # People #Nationalities #Non-Native(1) % Non-Native
 Bekaert Group Executive (BGE) 9 8 7 78%
 Senior Vice Presidents 13 3 2 15%
 Next leadership level (2) 93 17 41 44%

(1) Non-native = nationality other than the one of the mother company’s social seat (i.e. Belgium)

(2) Next leadership level = B13 and above managers excluding BGE and Senior Vice Presidents (Hay classification reference)

Gender diversity

(GRI 405-1)

GENDER DIVERSITY as per 31 December 2019   
   # People Male  Female
21 285
White collars
5 489
1 637
81%  19%
28 411
89%  11%

The manufacturing character of Bekaert’s operations explains the predominantly male population, particularly among operators.

Bekaert adopts a recruitment and promotion policy that aims to gradually generate more diversity, including gender diversity. Information about gender diversity in the Board of Directors can be found in the Annual Report 2019 (chapter Report of the Board: Corporate Governance).

Gender diversity in the Board of Directors and in the Top Leadership Team of Bekaert:

GENDER DIVERSITY as per 31 December 2019   
   # People Male  Female
Bekaert Group Executive (BGE)
9 89%
Senior & next leadership level(1)
78%  22%
80%  20%

(1) Senior Vice Presidents and B13 and above managers (Hay classification reference) excluding BGE

By 2025, Bekaert aims to reach a gender diversity ratio of 33% at leadership level.

(GRI 405-1)

Age diversity in Bekaert’s highest governance bodies:

AGE DIVERSITY as per 31 December 2019   
   # People 30-50 years old  Over 50 years old
Bekaert Group Executive (BGE)

(GRI 405-1)

Employment data:

  EMEA North America Latin America Asia Pacific TOTAL
 Blue collars 6 176 1 296 4 785 9 028 21 285
 Male 5 402 1 235 4 667 8 724 20 028
 Female 774 61 118 304 1 257
White collars 1 625 309 1 614 1 941 5 489
Male 1 077 197 1 036 1 501 3 811 
Female 548 112 578 440 1 678
Management 654 139 259 585 1 637
Male 534 115 220 454 1 323
Female 120 24 39 131 314
Total male 7 013 1 547 5 923 10 679 25 162
Total female 1 442 197 735 875 3 249
GRAND TOTAL 8 455 1 744 6 658 11 554 28 411

Most people employed by Bekaert have a permanent contract. Employees with a temporary contract are usually on the payroll of external organizations and agencies (Special Economic Zones, employment agencies) and are hence not included in the Bekaert payroll numbers.  

96% of the Bekaert employees work full-time.

(GRI 102-8)

Respecting human rights

Bekaert is firmly committed to complying with national legislations and collective labor agreements. Bekaert adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and recommendations of the International Labor Organization. 

We are committed to respecting the rights and dignity of each employee. We promote equal opportunity and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of age, race, nationality, social or ethnic descent, gender, physical disability, sexual preference, religion, political preference, or union membership. We recognize and appreciate the cultural identity of our teams in all the countries in which we operate and do business.

The recruitment, remuneration, application of employment conditions, training, promotion and career development of our employees are based on professional qualifications only.

(GRI 102-12)

Code of Conduct

Our hiring policy states that every new employee receives a copy of our Code of Conduct, which explains our conduct principles well as the behaviors we expect from all our employees.

Our Code of Conduct covers, among others, key areas regarding human rights, child labor and forced labor and anti-corruption policy & principles. It also contains the procedures to raise an integrity concern. In 2019, we launched an internal campaign worldwide to inform our employees about the Code of Conduct. 


Particular training programs on the Code of Conduct and on anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies are also provided to functional groups (eg. the purchasing function). In addition, the Group Internal Audit department regularly audits adherence to the respective policies and procedures, and recommends corrective actions where necessary. All policies are available to personnel on the Bekaert Intranet. 

In 2019, we repeated and further extended the annual process of commitment renewal to the Bekaert Code of Conduct. All managers worldwide and all white collar workers with access to the Bekaert online global learning platform are required to annually read the Bekaert Code of Conduct, to pass a test on business ethics cases, and to renew their commitment to the principles of the Code. White collars who do not (yet) have access to this online tool were required to express their commitment by signing a compliance form.

100% of the managers and 100% of the white collars renewed their commitment to the Code of Conduct in 2019.

It is our goal to maintain full annual commitment results from managers and white collars and to train all operators on the principles of the Code of Conduct worldwide by the end of 2020.

(GRI 102-16 + GRI 205-2 + GRI 408-1 + GRI 409-1)

Performance Reviews

In order to stimulate high performance, commitment, and continuous development of all employees, the group targets are deployed into team and personal targets for everyone.

The performance management process includes two-way personal development reviews, transparency, feedforward and leadership behavior.

Bekaert has developed and deployed a People Performance Management (PPM) program. PPM is our way of looking at people performance and how we can better achieve our goals in the future. As such, PPM is part of a larger effort to become a much more performance-driven organization.

Enablers for the people performance management practice are: a clear alignment of team and individual goals with business priorities; frequent performance steering and coaching; fair recognition in line with the achieved performance; and supporting tools that allow employees to keep track of their performance and ‘feedforward’ actions throughout the year. The program was launched at the start of 2019 and replaces the company’s Personal Development Review of the past.

Percentage of employees who received a performance review in 2019(1):
Managers 100%
White collars 100%
Operators 90%

(1): excluding BBRG & JVs

(GRI 404-3)

"How we change the future is much more productive than evaluating the past"

Remuneration & Benefits

We offer competitive salaries and benefits designed to enhance the financial, physical and overall well-being of our employees and their families. Our offerings differ from country to country and are often adapted to local social security policies. We provide a wide range of employee benefits that may include retirement benefits, healthcare plans, service awards, labor accident disability coverage and paid leave. For detailed information on employee benefits we refer to section 6.15 of the annual report.

(GRI 201-3)

Benefits provided to full-time and part-time employees by significant locations of operation (> 1000 employees):

(GRI 401-2 + GRI 403-6)

Benefit Belgium Slovakia China Chile US  Indonesia 
Life insurance Yes
Yes Yes Yes
Health care Yes
No Yes
Yes Yes
Disability coverage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Parental leave Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Retirement provision Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Stock ownership No No

These benefits are not provided to temporary workers (‘interim workers’) who are not on the Bekaert payroll.

Termination and severance

Bekaert has closed and restructured several sites in 2019. The management only implements such measures when other options to restore the performance in view of securing a sustainable, profitable future, have failed or are non-existent.

In 2019 Bekaert announced and implemented restructuring plans in Belgium, Brazil, Ecuador, UAE, Malaysia and the US.

In implementing such measures, the management aims at mitigating the social impact for the affected employees by considering re-industrialization, re-employment help and a fair severance package.

In Belgium, for instance, more than half of the employees affected by the restructuring which was executed in October 2019, were re-employed by the end of February 2020. 

More information on Bekaert’s recent restructuring programs is described in the Annual Report 2019