Diversity and Human Capital Management

CSR report CSR report

We believe that attracting, developing, and retaining human capital is key to our success in developing novel mechanism of action drugs which can make a difference for patients. We are dedicated to ensuring diversity of our workforce, while continuously striving to offer our employees a nurturing and rewarding work environment which facilitates their professional success. With the goal to execute more than 40 clinical trials in 2019, our organization continues to expand and build capability.

Approximately 125 new employees joined us in 2018, an increase of 21% versus 2017. Most new employees started in our Drug Development departments such as Clinical Operations, Biometrics, Medical Science, Clinical Pharmacology, and Project Management, but we also filled key positions in the new Commercial team. The recruitment of new colleagues will enable us to bring our novel product candidates further through development, with the ultimate goal to obtain approval for these therapies for patients as quickly as possible.

We expect that our Drug Development departments will continue to grow rapidly and, in 2019, our Commercial team will expand substantially as well. We continue to invest in Drug Discovery and our Shared Services departments. Expansion of staff is foreseen at all sites, including Basel, Switzerland and Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. We seek approximately 130 additional colleagues in 2019 across the business in order to meet our business goals.


We aim to develop a balanced workforce across a number of criteria such as gender, nationality, ethnicity, experience level, and disability. Our Executive Committee reviews the diversity of the workforce annually and is committed to creating equal opportunities for inclusion of diverse talent.

Diversity - actions 2018

In 2018 we report a healthy balance in diversity, which continues to improve.

Number of employees Galapagos group

  • Our board of directors currently comprises seven members of whom three are female (we refer to the section Board of directors of our Annual Report 2018 for further information on each board member)
  • We attracted 125 new employees in 2018, an increase of 21% versus 2017
  • We report stability in gender mix evolution, with 61% of staff overall being female in 2018, 53% of mid-level staff and 33% of senior management level
  • Across all functions, over 10% of internal staff at Galapagos R&D experienced a personal growth step through promotion, extended responsibilities, or new project assignments in 2018
  • We became more international with staff from 38 nationalities (compared to 25 in 2017)
  • An additional ombudsperson (“vertrouwenspersoon”) was hired at our Mechelen site

Diversity future goals

  • Continue the commitment to build a diverse workforce

Human capital management

We invest in the development of employee knowledge, skills, and competencies to continue to deliver innovative science at our company. Furthermore, we aim to ensure that training of employees takes place on all handling of hazardous materials, laboratory and other safety aspects, and other relevant policies for conducting our business.

We have policies in place to ensure the well-being of our employees, for example, addressing different forms of leave and allowing flexible working. We aim to ensure an inclusive, open, and supportive professional work environment across our international locations. We organize regular engagement meetings for research and development staff to inspire and align the fast growing teams behind our vision and ambition. We hold regular informal lunch meetings with executive committee members for new and other employees at different sites. We organize an all-staff day to reflect upon our core values and last year’s day was reserved for charitable activities.

We use a variety of indicators to measure employee satisfaction, including the rates of absenteeism and turnover among our employees. These and other indicators allow us to consider actions to optimize our work environment or working practices.

Human capital management - actions 2018

  • Strengthened our human resources team to build and implement an innovative workplace strategy
  • Streamlined the onboarding process across sites, designation of mentor for each new employee
  • Identified four core values which we wish to maintain and develop within our company, and which are designed to foster employee engagement and work satisfaction: Act as a pioneer, Raise the bar, Embrace change, and Make it happen
  • Incorporated a focus on our core values in our recruiting, onboarding, and development programs for employees
  • Across all functions, over 10% of internal staff experienced a personal growth step through promotion, extended responsibilities, or new project assignments in 2018
  • Raised EUR 27,578 for Sjarabang (a charity) in Mechelen, planted city gardens and created dolls for a Unicef project in Romainville, sported with kids, refurbished elderly homes and taught asylum seekers in the Netherlands the Dutch language during corporate sponsored charity activities
  • Implemented a new travel policy to streamline policy with travel needs
  • 1.4% annual absenteeism reported by Mechelen, Leiden, Romainville sites
  • 10.7% turnover of employees for the Galapagos group
  • 93% of employees are trained in our codes of conduct, including insider trading, and other policies & procedures required by Sarbanes Oxley

Human capital management future goals

  • Deploy a senior leader-led program to foster culture and build leadership capability across the group
  • Continue to incorporate our core values into how we attract, onboard, and develop employees
  • Revisit our performance management approach to deliver a meaningful and impactful way to drive performance, support personal growth, build a strong company culture, and have a competitive reward & recognition