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Bayer employees participate in initiatives that build inclusion, such as ‘BLEND’, an employee resource group for LGBTQ+ and allies.Supplied

With more than 20 years in the sales and marketing industry, Michelle Gauthier had heard a lot about Bayer Canada’s thriving and diverse community and culture. It was something she wanted to experience for herself.

Looking to be part of a workplace where people genuinely lived the company’s mission, Gauthier focused on landing a job at Bayer and joined the team in 2021. Today she is a customer business manager at the company’s head office based in Mississauga, Ont.

“At Bayer, no matter where you sit, your voice is not just encouraged, it is valued,” she says. “Diversity of ideas, experiences and perspectives matter. There’s a huge team of people here who listen and help each other to be successful.”

For Gauthier, success at work means more than just compensation and making sales. “At some jobs, people come to work and leave their authentic selves at home,” she says. “At Bayer, a lot of people work extremely hard to make sure everyone can be themselves.”

That culture of inclusion – a culture that has put the company on lists of most-admired corporate cultures – is one of Bayer Canada’s proudest accomplishments, says human resources vice-president Janine Pajot.

“We work hard to foster a strong and successful team,” she says. “People are our number-one resource, and Bayer is committed to bringing people with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to the table.”

With its global head office in Leverkusen, Germany, Bayer is a leading life sciences company with a history stretching back more than a century and a half. Bayer helps prevent, alleviate and treat diseases, providing the world with a reliable supply of high-quality food and plant-based raw materials, says Pajot.

With three core businesses in Canada – pharmaceuticals, crop science and consumer health – Bayer works to impact lives and achieve growth with sustainable businesses. Bayer Canada operates two head offices: Mississauga for pharmaceuticals and consumer health, and Calgary for agriculture.

Employees and senior leadership at Bayer are on one page regarding their core values, says Pajot. The organizational mission ‘Health for all, Hunger for none,’ ensures everyone understands how individual contributions lead to the overall success of the company.

It’s a corporate mission that’s easy to get behind, she says. Bayer has codified four primary values: leadership, integrity, flexibility and efficiency, organized in the acronym LIFE. These values permeate the company: at town halls, video conferences, team-building events and charity drives.

Recently, Bayer employees around the world were invited to create a video to share an initiative that falls under one of the four LIFE values, with the four Canadian winners moving on to a global stage. The Bayer Canada pharmaceutical division also hands out True North awards based on LIFE values; winners are awarded a coveted Inukshuk trophy.

“The employees here stand by those values,” says Pajot. “Everything they do is with a purpose to serve, whether it’s a patient, a consumer or a grower.”

“One of the great things about Bayer is that opportunity is not limited to one division. If there is interest in moving from, say, our pharmaceutical to our crop science division, we encourage and welcome it.”

Bayer encourages employees to get involved in charitable causes, such as Food Banks Canada. Employees offer support through everything from an annual food drive to COVID-19 lockdown-inspired cooking contests. Employees are offered volunteer days every year to support either the food bank or charities of their own choosing.

“It speaks to the company’s strength,” says Pajot. “It really comes down to working for a purpose,” she says. “And believing that what we do serves the greater good.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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