Take a look at our previous reports:

Material aspect 2: Our employees are the strength behind Galapagos

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Employees are the key to our success in developing novel mechanism of action drugs that have the potential to make a real difference for patients. Attracting, inspiring and retaining employees and making Galapagos a great place to work are essential for the success of our company. Our approach to talent stems from our corporate values and strategic talent initiatives.

‘Make it Happen’ is core to our culture: people feel they can make an impact in our organization, which is highly motivating. We ensure that this value is protected and managed as we continue to develop as an organization.

We are dedicated to continuing to build a diverse workforce and to fostering an inclusive, open and supportive work environment across our locations in Europe and the U.S.

As we aim to expand our differentiated pipeline in 2022, while rolling out our first marketed product across Europe, our organization continues to develop and build expertise.

Gender Equality

We strive for gender equality across multiple dimensions, including talent attraction, female leadership, and talent pipeline development, pay, creation of an inclusive culture. We foster a diverse and inclusive organization and protect each other against all forms of harassment and discrimination. We support gender equality through policy development, representation, and transparency.

In 2021, we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, endorsing equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls. 60% of our R&D colleagues are women and their talent and dedication are essential in our aim to help patients now and in the future.

As described in the section on Material Aspect 1, we are part a consortium of companies working on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives for youngsters, with a key focus on sparking interest in STEM amongst girls via targeted social media outreach that speaks to them (www.dasgeniaal.be and www.cestgenial.be).

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As a result of our initiatives, for the third year in a row we are included in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, an achievement that we are very proud of. The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index is an objective measure that tracks the performance of public companies committed to disclosing efforts to support gender equality. The list encompasses 418 companies headquartered in 45 countries and regions, across 11 sectors.


Our approach to diversity is deeply rooted in our culture and values. We strive for inclusion and diversity across gender, nationality, ethnicity, experience level, and disability, as detailed in below section. This is reflected in our decisions and actions as our company grows and evolves.

Our group in numbers

Number of employees Galapagos group

Our group in numbers (graphic)
Total number of employees includes consultants and temporary staff.
  • We attracted 328 new employees in 2021, 55% of whom are women
  • We continue to attract people from various backgrounds and now have 42 different nationalities within the Galapagos group.
  • Our supervisory board currently consists of eight members, 4 of whom are women (please see the section Supervisory board of our Annual Report 2021 for further information on each board member)
  • Our management board consists of 5 men (please see the section Management board of our Annual Report 2021 for further information on each board member)
Gender equality (graphic)

Human capital management

Our corporate culture

At Galapagos, we believe a strong culture is fundamental to our business success. Our spirit of challenging ourselves without fear of failure underpins our work. Since this boldness is fundamental to us – and we recruit exceptional people who are the right fit – we have defined our culture in a behavioral framework as follows:

  • We act as a pioneer and are optimistic in our ambitions, motivated by innovation and attracted by the unknown
  • We positively embrace change and adapt to circumstances. Failing on occasion doesn’t deter us; it’s how we pick ourselves up that matters
  • We challenge ourselves and, in doing so, raise the bar of what is possible
  • Together, we want to create value and improve lives through science – and we continuously strive to find ways to make it happen

As new colleagues from different backgrounds join us, we want to ensure our culture evolves accordingly. We continue to develop structured, integrated systems and onboarding practices that help us look in the same direction, because our culture transcends everything we do.

We invest in our employees

Our employees are at the core of everything we do. In our continued efforts to enable a great experience at Galapagos, we offer our employees the platform to grow, develop, fail, learn, and succeed. Our ambitious business strategy offers great opportunities to keep pushing boundaries and enhance skills and competencies with the aim of delivering innovative science and breakthrough medicines to patients. We honor our successes, while constantly raising the bar and allowing room for trial and error to drive innovation. We encourage our people to take ownership, be entrepreneurial, and make a difference.

At Galapagos, we offer competitive and evolving remuneration packages to reward, recognize, develop, and retain our employees in a way that aligns with the company’s strategy and culture. Performance bonuses and, for many employees, share-related opportunities, help drive sustainable performance and commitment, and reward employees for their contributions to our success.

The benefits we offer vary from country to country, based on local customs and statutory conditions. Employee benefits include insurance for critical risks and key life events, as well as provisions for different forms of leave in support of work-life balance.

We aim to ensure an inclusive, open, and supportive professional environment across our international locations. We organize regular engagement meetings across all our business units to inspire and align teams behind our vision and ambition. Informal sessions with members of our management board help to inspire new and long-term employees across our different sites.

We listen to our people through formal and informal channels established to ensure openness and psychological safety. Focused surveys evaluate our actions, impact, and the agility of our people processes and help us enhance the employee experience.

During the COVID pandemic, we helped employees manage this health crisis by providing additional electronic equipment to facilitate working from home, organizing online mindfulness sessions, and paying a stipend to cover the additional costs incurred through working from home. We also undertook initiatives to create team cohesion and strengthen the feeling of belonging to the Galapagos family.

We engage with local communities and charities

We want to be part of the communities in which we work and live. In 2021, we transformed our annual Company Day, where we traditionally devote time to a range of social organizations and green initiatives, into a cross-site 'We Care' initiative. Across our different locations, we engaged with social and nature conservation organizations in a concerted way.

Material aspect 2: our actions in 2021

In 2021, talent engagement and retention became a clear priority, and a range of activities supported this:

  • In 2021, we improved our candidate experience. Our governance, planning and approach in the continued period of pandemic led to an increased use of assessment and recruitment tools to assure and ensure talent fit with the culture of the company. Virtual conversations and case-based presentations aided the process
  • We consistently partnered with colleagues to promote references and build a pipeline of talent, in line with our goal to hire and develop diverse talent
  • As we established operations across Europe, our talent base has become more international and diverse, too
  • Onboarding was refined, to become more efficient, robust, and attractive. It led to a smooth integration with our culture and values, motivating new colleagues to find their way in the organization, understand what is expected from them and know what systems and tools to use. All colleagues joining from Gilead in our commercial organization participated in culture and value workshops to fully embed them in our company DNA. All newcomers got assigned a ‘buddy’ as guide and support for any questions during the first months
  • Employee well-being is critical to our success. In the context of the continued pandemic, managers engaged in 'How are you' conversations with their team members. More than ever, we wanted to make sure that every employee felt safe, listened to, and cared for
  • We focused on enhancing the performance and unlocking the potential of all employees by promoting the development of personal and professional skills. To support continued development during the pandemic, learning journeys remained virtual, with team building adapted to online and hybrid experiences
  • We capitalized on internal lateral mobility, which is demonstrated by the fact that about 95 colleagues (of which 60% women) were assigned new roles with increased responsibilities in 2021
  • Regular performance and development conversations played a crucial role in ensuring we remain performance-oriented and develop employees for current and future roles
  • We have created a financial support package for remote working, rolled-out new family leave policies and an annual stock-based program, and improved various local benefit offerings
  • We set the stage to achieve digital ambitions for HR, with the successful launch of SAP SuccessFactors. We initiated the employee self-service journey, supported by strong change management and user-adoption practices to ensure a smooth launch. We now have the architecture and analytics to consistently report on key HR KPIs going forward and generate insights that matter to the business
  • We hired and onboarded 328 new colleagues, 80 of whom came from our collaboration partner Gilead, as we took over the commercialization of Jyseleca in regions in Europe that were initially covered by Gilead. We significantly expanded our commercial organization and set up operations in six countries (i.e. Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Republic of Ireland) to realize our ambition to become marketing authorization holder for Jyseleca in Europe. We unfortunately had to rightsize our R&D and Shared Services departments in view of our revised R&D portfolio following pipeline setbacks
  • Following recent events and in response to the strategic reset during the year, we invested in regular communication plans, with extensive Questions and Answers for senior leaders, to equip them to be closer to their teams. Transparent presentations during townhall meetings helped employees put the corporate news in perspective and maintain trust in our ability to overcome headwinds with a plan and commitment

Future ambitions

  • We Care’ is part of our community engagement approach and we remain committed to several initiatives, including:
    • supporting local STEM initiatives throughout our different sites
    • donating IT materials to local organizations for educational support
    • giving employees the opportunity to share any volunteering initiative on our internal communication Yammer platform and allow others to engage behind
  • The recruitment team will continue to focus on ensuring quality recruitment externally but also supporting the internal redeployment and talent mobility processes. We aim to improve our employer branding position via social media campaigns and other career channels etc. to inspire and increase our outreach
  • At Galapagos, we continue to engage with early talents by collaborating with universities/schools/academia to increase talent inflow via internships and/or young graduate hire. Early pipelining is seen as a way to diversify the talent pool and as a long-term objective to develop young talents into the leaders of the future. We plan to remain competitive, evolving towards integrated talent management that includes our employees, consultants, and our contingent workforce
  • Our ambition is to improve the competitiveness of our talent and our organization, and have a highly engaged workforce. We create opportunities for our leaders to role model key behaviors, embody corporate values and create the context for their teams to excel. Programs that generate transformative learning in the space of personal and professional excellence will continually be upgraded, while we embark on building strategic capabilities. We will continue to enhance awareness of compliance and regulatory practices in a systematic way. This journey will be further sharpened and enhanced towards establishing our platform for success to promote growth in performance and potential in line with industry benchmarks to prepare our workforce for the future 
  • We continue to adopt cutting edge and digital solutions to boost candidate and employee experience. Deployment of empowering people processes by continuous improvement and streamlining, investing in the scalability and consistency of our processes across the whole organization, will be instrumental to success. We continue to invest in intuitive solutions to simplify HR processes and employee self-service. To enhance the employee experience, we aim to deploy digital tools that will provide them with solutions via a dedicated knowledge base 
  • Our focus will continue to be on evolving our competitive remuneration package to support the attraction, retention, and engagement of talented employees, helping Galapagos differentiate itself and creating a competitive advantage. In particular, we hope to drive forward our wellbeing offering as a company and explore further possibilities around the future of mobility. In addition, we will look for further opportunities to bring to life our remuneration principles, including reinforcing linkages between pay and performance, enabling employees to share in the company’s success in alignment with shareholder interests, remaining competitive in existing and new geographic markets, and supporting employees and their families with locally relevant employee benefits
  • We will continue to drive and enable both mindset and practice when it comes to organization agility. It starts with building a resilient organization, having the right strategic capabilities and remaining highly responsive to our people and to the context we operate in. Further, leadership and line manager capabilities will be strengthened, internal mobility boosted along with our approaches to retain and grow our talents, offering them diverse experiences across projects and programs
  • We will continue to deploy initiatives to foster our strong culture to drive innovation in science and make differentiating medicines available to as many patients as possible. Increased focus on wellbeing, recognition and CSR programs will contribute to becoming an even more inspiring, inclusive place to work, where people can become their best selves. Our people are our ambassadors. We put them in the spotlight and visualize how proud they are to work for Galapagos and how proud the company is to work with such amazing talents. We have an inclusive atmosphere of bringing people together from various backgrounds to collaborate and deliver on meaningful solutions, both internally within the company and as well as to our patients