June 01, 2024

Pride in practice: Yara's journey to diversity and inclusion

By prioritizing a diverse and inclusive work environment, Yara is investing in its greatest strength – its people. We believe this approach paves the way for a brighter future, not just for Yara, but for society as a whole.

Yara colleagues during Pride parade in Oslo
Yara colleagues during Pride parade in Oslo

A call for continued progress 

The past decade, the corporate landscape has seen a rise in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Yet, despite this progress, recent headlines report several cutbacks to DEI programs in favor of other advancements, such as AI development 

At Yara, we believe in a different trajectory and see inclusion not as a burden, but as a powerful engine for innovation and success. 

“In times of economic difficulties, DEI programs are often among the first to experience deprioritization in many organizations, seen by some as “nice-to-have” rather than essential. This is not the case for Yara. We see DEI as a non-negotiable pillar, key to navigating current and future challenges,”  

Cromwell Ellie, Vice President, Talent Development and DEI 

The power of a diverse and inclusive workforce 

At Yara, our colleagues are our most valuable asset and as such, DEI is integral to our organizational fabric and objectives.  

We firmly believe that fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment isn't just the right thing to do, it's a strategic advantage. When employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to bring their unique perspectives, the potential for innovation and creativity soars. This translates to a more engaged workforce, which is better equipped to make good decisions and drive outcomes. 

Our commitment to fostering an environment where every individual feels valued and respected, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, is unwavering and manifests in several ways: 

Building an informed and empowered workforce 

Yara has internal non-discrimination commitments globally, protecting employees against harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. But policies and commitments are just one piece of the puzzle. Everyday interactions with peers and leaders matter just as much.

Pride activation in Myanmar

In Yara, we are striving to be more inclusive, and showing our commitment by recognizing and supporting our colleagues from the LGBTQIA+ community. These recognition and support initiatives not only raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues, but also empower all employees to become allies. 

“The supporting element is crucial. We help people understand that allyship comes in many forms: from public advocacy to listening to lived experiences and educating ourselves about unconscious bias,” shares Tatiana Pavlova, Senior Manager Strategic Learning and Development, Governance and Excellence, DEI, Employee Resource Groups Lead.

Fostering safe spaces and support networks

In 2023, Yara launched Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support underrepresented groups. These groups, including the Pride ERG, provide a safe space for connection, shared experiences, and open discussions. The Pride ERG specifically focuses on "Cultivating an Equitable Workplace for LGBTQ+: Awareness, Safety and Visibility."  

"Yara is truly diverse and from this perspective, there are plenty of opportunities for our people to drive a positive change on what matters to them, to our organization as a whole and the communities we work with globally. The Pride ERG, that I have a privilege to sponsor, is still a very young setup, but I feel proud about the level of ambition and passion I see among the members," shares Kris Moors, Senior Vice President, Indirect Procurement.

As a global company operating in over 60 countries, Yara understands that LGBTQIA+ inclusion requires a nuanced approach. We respect the diverse legal, cultural, and social contexts of each region. The Pride ERG fosters a global sense of belonging while ensuring a safe space for colleagues to connect and share experiences.

Leading by example 

In 2023, Yara became the main sponsor of Oslo Pride, showcasing our unwavering support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Our sponsorship sparked a ripple effect. Yara colleagues around the world felt empowered to participate in local Pride events, fostering a powerful sense of global solidarity and showcasing our commitment to inclusion in action.

Pride activation in Pocklington, UK

At the same time, this public message extended beyond our company walls, aiming to inspire all companies to recognize the power of DEI and embrace it as a fundamental pillar for a more innovative, equitable and prosperous future for all.