People are at the center of everything we do at Flex. Our workforce is made up of 170,000 of the industry’s best makers, problem-solvers, innovators and craftspeople building products that improve the world on behalf of leading brands. As a responsible, global diversified manufacturer, we recognize that prioritizing employee health, safety, inclusion and development is not only the right thing to do, but an imperative to empowering every one of our team members to flourish.
Our people, a key aspect of our sustainability strategy and framework, represent our commitment to improving shop floor health and safety beyond industry standards, purposefully driving our diversity, equity and inclusion journey, ensuring fair labor practices and continuously investing in growth opportunities for all workers. These are the makings of a work environment that our team members deserve, one where they feel physically secure, psychologically safe and equipped to take their careers to new heights.
Guided by our purpose and values, our socially responsible practices span a multitude of people-centric initiatives, including our culture of safety, diverse leader development and scholarship programs, workforce mental health initiatives and much more.
Cultivating a culture of safety across 100+ facilities
We promote a zero-injury workplace across our global footprint. Our commitment to ensuring workforce safety is framed by our strong social management system that aligns to the RBA code of conduct. We also invested in technological upgrades and innovations designed to minimize risk and improve efficiency on the manufacturing floor. Through our strong health and safety management systems and programs integrated with ISO principles, we have improved management reviews and achieved decreased injury rates from 2020 to 2021.
17% reduction in total case incident rate year over year
A top priority continues to be supporting our employees through the COVID-19 pandemic. We perform audits and risk assessments to inform our hospital-quality safety protocols.
We also prioritize workforce health and safety by investing in technologies, capabilities and controls to further design risk out of our manufacturing processes.
For example, LISA, an award-winning line stop assistant at our Althofen, Austria facility improves changeover processes and workforce mental health by reducing stress on employees.
Investing in top-down diversity, equity and inclusion
The diversity of our teams, spanning a wide range of characteristics such as experience, education, ability, gender identity, race, ethnicity and more enrichens our workplace culture and serves as a competitive advantage. We believe that representation matters in creating a stronger sense of belonging for each team member. Flex also strives to nurture a workforce that reflects the communities in which we operate.
We cultivate diverse leadership through initiatives like inclusive changes in our recruiting process and training programs for our leadership and employees. Our employee development programs include SheLeads, created to fortify and advance the talent pipeline of the women at Flex and the McKinsey Connected Academy, which is provided as a resource for underrepresented talent to network and complete intensive leadership training.
A Snapshot of Representation at Flex in 2021
- 25% on our Board of Directors, including our CEO, were female
- 44% of our global workforce were female
- 22% female representation at the director level and above globally
- 31% racial and ethnic diverse representation at the director level and above in the U.S.
- 1,300 people employed with disabilities across all of our sites including individuals with hearing, speaking, sight, intellectual development, and physical impairments
Fostering an inclusive workplace involves more than elevating internal awareness through global cultural celebrations. We also created designated spaces for employees to have their voices heard through 8 established Employee Resource Groups: Asian Pacific Flex Network, Black Flex Network, LatinX, People with DiversAbilities, Flex PRIDE, Veterans at Flex, Women in Flex and Women in Tech. In addition, we introduced 12 new online training modules on diversity and inclusion concepts and practices, available to all of our IDL employees.
Upholding human rights, wellness, and fair labor practices
We hold ourselves to the highest, global standards of fair labor practices and prioritize our employees’ well-being and professional development.
Maintaining human rights of all workers in our international value chain and treating them with respect and dignity is our non-negotiable responsibility to the people we employ and the communities where we operate. We demonstrate this commitment through our policies and as active participants in the Global Business Initiative for Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Responsible Business Alliance. We also innovate to enforce fair labor practices and working hours by working to educate and employ migrant workers, integrating a compliance scorecard program to assess site and leader’s compliance and more.
Because we believe in a holistic view of employee wellness and career fulfilment, we also invested in workforce mental health and development. We’ve continued to evolve on-the-job learning and upskilling through programs like our employee scholarship program. For more than 10 years, depending on the specifics of the site and education, we have provided full or partial funding for our employees to receive external education and fulfill credentials including technical certifications, undergraduate and graduate degrees.
We’ve also demonstrated our commitment to employee well-being by continuing to develop and expand our benefits and support programs globally.
In 2021, we provided 100% of our employees access to emotional/mental health programs.
For more about our stories, stats and sustainable insights around our commitments to health and safety, DEI, and labor practices, explore our 2022 sustainability report.
Read our previous blog in the sustainability blog series here.