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Our People

Our commitment to Patients (graphic)

We are purpose driven. Our commitment is to create a Purposeful Workplace for our People to deliver breakthrough innovation for patients

2023 was a year of significant change and continued transformation for Galapagos, and we are well aware of the impact this has on our employees and the challenges that it poses to our organization.

First, to continue building our company around two core therapeutic areas, oncology and immunology, we completed the integration of the CellPoint and AboundBio teams into Galapagos with a robust onboarding program. In late June, we also completed the transfer of the drug discovery and research activities, including our research colleagues in Romainville, France, to NovAliX.

Next, after carefully evaluating the strategic options to maintain a sustainable commercial business model for Jyseleca®, our Jyseleca® dedicated teams, and the patients who benefit from the medicine, we signed a letter of intent with Alfasigma S.p.A. to transfer the entire Jyseleca® business to Alfasigma, including the European and UK Marketing Authorizations, as well as the commercial, medical affairs and development activities for Jyseleca® and approximately 400 Galapagos positions in 14 European countries. The transaction was completed at the end of January 2024.

Finally, to further streamline our remaining operations and implement a lean organization focused on R&D growth areas, we announced and implemented a restructuring affecting 100 positions across our European sites. At the same time, we continue to strengthen critical strategic capabilities to achieve our ambitions in oncology.

To ensure we were hearing our employee’s thoughts during this time of change, we conducted a company-wide survey to better understand the impact of these changes on our company’s values and culture. More than half of our employees participated in the survey and we are committed to taking the feedback to further evolve our corporate culture and values in 2024.

We are pleased to share the efforts we have taken to foster an inspiring and engaging workplace for our people. We strive to nurture a purpose-driven culture that values diversity, equality, transparency, trust, empowerment, and leadership. We continue to build an inclusive and entrepreneurial work environment, where people can be themselves, realize their full potential and grow in their career, feel recognized for their contributions, and perform to the best of their abilities, individually and together as one team.


Diversity, equality, and inclusion

As part of our Sustainability strategy, we kicked off a program to create more awareness for diversity, equality and inclusion within Galapagos.

We are proud to share that, for the fourth year in a row, we are included in the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. This list encompasses 484 companies headquartered in 45 countries and regions. It is an objective measure that tracks gender equality across five pillars: leadership & talent pipeline, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, external brand, and equal pay & gender pay parity.

As part of our effort to foster equal pay and gender pay parity, we perform equity checks during our promotion and end-of-year review processes across genders to mitigate potential bias. In 2023, among other initiatives to promote the culture of inclusion across our organization, we held a plenary panel talk with Pips Bunce, inspirational advocate for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. The widely attended session generated a fruitful discussion and exploration of how a more diverse and inclusive organization can lead to a greater success.

*Total workforce number includes in-sourced consultants

Talent attraction

We continue to strive for a balanced, diverse talent mix across all levels of the organization and are focused on continuing to attract and develop a diverse workforce. As part of this effort, our vacancies are screened by verified language models to ensure ‘neutral language’, and all job posting include an explicit encouragement for all genders, ages, and nationalities to apply. Our talent acquisition strategy includes active outreach to diverse talent groups and is supported by our internship programs that help us to attract and grow young professionals. In 2023, we hired 193 new employees, bringing our total workforce count to 1,123 people.

Talent retention

We also know that it is equally important to engage, develop and retain top talent, which is why we have heavily invested in re-engaging our Discovery teams at the start of 2023. We also rolled out a new initiative of “Team Boosters,” which are offsite team development sessions for complete teams and their leader, with the objective to boost engagement and belonging, guiding all leadership and functional teams within the Discovery organization on a targeted development journey.

Talent cycle is our annual cycle of specific conversations between managers and their direct reports on topics like objectives, feedback, development; this fosters an open dialogue between managers and employees. We hold regular “Hay! (How Are You) conversations” between managers and their team members to support ongoing feedback and discuss topics such as goal alignment, engagement, feedback, career, performance, and development. In addition to facilitating these individual conversations, we broadened the “Talent Talks” to the departmental level to focus on identifying personal development opportunities for employees.

We believe that by proactively offering learning opportunities to all employees, we invest in employees’ career growth at Galapagos. In 2023, Galapagos employees and leaders attended more than 4,500 Galapagos learning and development events (and this number excludes Compliance training, conferences and on-the-job learning). Additionally, almost 50 managers spent in total over 2,500 hours on individual coaching conducted by an external consultant.


Another critical element to retain employees is our competitive compensation offering, which is designed to recognize and reward employee performance in alignment with the company’s strategy and culture. We believe that performance bonuses and stock-based incentive opportunities help drive sustainable performance and stronger commitment to Galapagos, while appropriately rewarding employees for their contributions to our success.

The benefits we offer vary from country to country, based on local standards and statutory requirements. In 2023, we enhanced our employee offerings at both the international and country level with the following changes:

  • Expanded information about total rewards, including benefits offerings, available to employees on our intranet portal;
  • Provided stock-based awards for our colleagues to foster ownership culture;
  • Conducted extensive benchmarking to assess the competitiveness of our local benefits offerings;
  • Improved various local benefits offerings ranging from additional time off and cash allowances to improved meal vouchers and new wellbeing programs; and
  • Strengthened our commuter and transportation programs offerings to further incentivize environmentally sound transportation choices.


We prioritize the health of our workforce as it is essential for both individual success and overall organizational prosperity. Our cross-functional initiative known as “Make It Happiness” brings together employee ambassadors who continuously design and improve our global wellbeing program. This project is centered around three key pillars: Physical, Mental, and Social wellbeing. The program aims to enhance team unity, as employees are encouraged to participate in activities such as sharing healthy meals, Company Culture strengthening, volunteering for social causes, and listening to inspirational speakers. The “Make It Happiness” team also offers all employees access to the Headspace App, with our employees using over 74,000 minutes of content and meditation programs in 2023.


Beginning in 2024, we are starting to monitor our culture, values, and employee engagement in a new annual company-wide Employee Survey. Following localized team-specific wellbeing surveys in the past, we are now prepared to rollout a global assessment, which will quantify the Galapagos employee experience and provide valuable insights into several dimensions of our culture such as engagement, intent to stay, and leadership effectiveness. The results of this survey, expected to launch in the first half of 2024, will serve as a baseline benchmark and starting point for constructive and ongoing dialogue with our teams.

Health and Safety

In line with our Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) policy, we are dedicated to providing safe and healthy working conditions to all our employees. In 2023, we had no fatalities related to work-related injuries or work-related ill health, nor did we have any high consequence work-related injuries.

The table below provides an overview of safety incidents for Galapagos employees, consultants working on site, temporary workers and students in 2023: 

Process by which new medicines are discovered and/or designed. At Galapagos, this is the department that oversees target and drug discovery research through to nomination of preclinical candidates
The study of the immune system and is a very important branch of the medical and biological sciences. The immune system protects humans from infection through various lines of defence. If the immune system is not functioning as it should, it can result in disease, such as autoimmunity, allergy, and cancer
Jyseleca® is the brand name for filgotinib
Field of medicine that deal with the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and early detection of cancer