A group of ZEISS colleagues of different genders and ages are standing in a lobby and talking.

Diversity and inclusion

at ZEISS in North America

At ZEISS, we welcome and value all people, regardless of their nationality, origin, age, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation and gender identity. Every individual is unique, and we support an inclusive culture which respects all our team members. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Program contains different aspects: awareness and communication, education and training, recruiting, as well as employee engagement. One important driver are our ZEISS Employee Networks.

A diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture is central to our business strategy. We strive to create an open, welcoming workplace where colleagues feel valued and safe to be their true selves.

Emily Rumgay

Head of Human Resources North America, ZEISS Business Services

ZEISS Employee Network initiative “Including You”

ZEISS Employee Network initiative “Including You”

With the initiative, ZEISS North America aims to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the company's strategy, values, and culture. The different groups are led and joined voluntarily by employees. So far, our Employee Networks cover topics like Veterans, LGBTQIA+, disABILITY, Women and Parents. We are always on the lookout to promote further networks and are open to all suggestions of employees.
The networks create awareness, connect people, provide support or help in personal or career development. They also support local internal activities on promoting diversity topics.

Our ZEISS Employee Network groups and their leaders

  • The LGBTQIA+ community recognizes the value of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Pride is about being who you are at high volume! The LGBTQIA+ community is here to say you are okay just the way you are! At its core the LGBTQIA+ community is about expressing oneself fully and supporting others to do the same.

    The Proud@ZEISS network is lead by Gabriela Leal and Jimmy Gilliland. Gabriela is working as a Field Support Engineer at ZEISS Medical Technology. Jimmy is working as Business Development Representative at ZEISS Vision Care.

    Torey Arnold

    Gabriela Leal

    ”I hid who I was for almost all my life out of fear, which made me live a double life for too many years. Living authentically is a journey. Remember, it gets better. There's a vibrant community ready to stand by you, celebrating your truth and embracing the diversity that makes us stronger.”

    Jimmy Gilliland

    Jimmy Gilliland

    “The freedoms we all enjoy have been paid for by many before us. I merely wish to pay it forward by working to expand those freedoms for all of us.”

  • The balance of family life and work life is an important facet of what we do each and every day. As meetings, travel and conferences fill our schedules, how do we continue balance it all? How are other parents balancing it all at ZEISS?

    The Parents@ZEISS network is lead by Megan Gagliardi and David Nolan. Megan is working as Head of Marketing at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, David is working as Head of Device Software a ZEISS Medical Technology.

    Megan Gagliardi

    Megan Gagliardi

    “The pandemic has brought about a perfect time to talk about being a Parent@ZEISS, in a time when we can all empathize a bit more.”

    David Nolan

    David Nolan

    “We have access to such a great network of knowledge and support here and it’s a true gift to be able to tap into that to help you balance everything.”

  • The main objective of Women@ZEISS is to provide a platform for all women to connect, network and build a community. We aim to support and empower all women in their professional growth by providing resources and programs for women. We strive to make ZEISS an employer of choice for high-potential women. Our goal is to empower and encourage our peers to reach for the stars.

    The Women@ZEISS network is lead by Brooke Gaffney and Christina Owyang. Brooke is working as an Onboarding and Training Specialist at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions,  Christina is working as Head of Finance and Controlling for the Chronic Disease Management department at ZEISS Medical Technology.

    Brooke Gaffney

    Brooke Gaffney

    "Women are many times overlooked for advancement and new opportunities despite their performance. My goal is to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to share and develop their unique gifts, strengths, and ideas."

    Christina Owyang

    Christina Owyang

    “I vow to continue to empower Women@ZEISS to achieve whatever goal they shoot for because there should never be a limit to what we can achieve. I am proud to be a woman and will continue to challenge our own perception of how we view ourselves.”

  • Working without limits: disABILITY@ZEISS is a network which creates a safe space for employees to connect with each other and learn about how one can be successful. It is also a space for any employee to join and learn about disabilities and how they can support their colleagues.

    The disABILITY@ZEISS network is lead by Zahra and Anna. Zahra is working as a HR Manager for Carl Zeiss Inc., Anna is working as a Cinema Marketing Specialist at ZEISS Consumer Markets.

    Zahra Sayla

    Zahra Sayla

    "Supporting disabilities is very important to me as the struggles one faces can be very lonely and its important to know that there are others who can relate and be there for you."

    Anna Schmidt

    Anna Schmidt

    "I am proudly neurodivergent and enjoy leveraging and sharing my own experiences to help create a more inclusive workplace in a neuronormative world."

  • The mission of Veterans@ZEISS is to embrace the proud community of veterans and allies who support and encourage each other through shared experiences, veteran recruitment, career development, outward engagement, professional growth, and retention. Bringing together the unique backgrounds, the network seeks to harness its strengths to better serve veterans and the community by making the 'Inclusion Intentional'.

    The Veterans@ZEISS network is lead by Michael Ruggiero and Reggie Belizaire. Michael is working as a Senior Accounts Payable Specialist at Carl Zeiss Inc. He is a Navy veteran who enlisted from 1976 to 1985. His military occupational specialty was Administration & Personnel Counseling. Michael reached the rank of NC1/E6 and joined Carl Zeiss, Inc. in 2019. Reggie is working as HR Manager at Carl Zeiss Inc. He is a Marine Corps veteran who enlisted from 2000 to 2008. His military occupational specialty was Aviation Supply and Admin Support. Reggie reached the rank of Sergeant/E5 and joined Carl Zeiss, Inc. in 2014.

     Michael Ruggiero

    Michael Ruggiero

    "Our Veterans are important and through the group we would like to exchange how our experiences have help make us the person we are today."

    Reggie Belizaire

    Reggie Belizaire

    "Veterans are always in search of different ways to serve and I want to continue this spirit of service with my ZEISS family by building connections, providing support and information through the network."

Diversity activities

  • International Women's Day

    International Women's Day

    The North American Women@ZEISS network invited to a keynote from Dr. Ulrike Boehm about "Gender equality, so what? – Why it matters, and what we can do." Ulrike works as an Optical Scientist & Project Team Lead at ZEISS in Oberkochen. She talked about gender equality and women's empowerment in science and why we still need to talk about these issues. She also suggested some concrete actions that everyone could do to contribute to a culture of change.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging

    Diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging

    Award-winning diversity and inclusion advocate Aisha Suleiman held a keynote on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in a corporate environment. Aisha is the founder of "The Inclusive Culture" and "The World in Her Words". She is also known for leading Amazon's Black Employee Network in the United Kingdom, building a network into an organization that now has significant impact on Amazon's diversity and inclusion strategy. In her keynote Aisha shared interesting facts, great examples and inspiring insights on diversity topics.

  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

    World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

    Sharing culture through food: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21 aims to bridge the gap between cultures. Multiple ZEISS sites across North America enjoyed an international lunch break and shared insights about their own culture. By putting up decorations like flags and globes as well as maps we let others know where our team is coming from. Some colleagues even wore their traditional garment!

  • Juneteenth


    June 19 is Juneteenth, a time for reflection, creating awareness, celebrating the achievements of African Americans throughout history, and honoring their culture. In recognition of this important day, ZEISS North America invited the nonprofit organization Hip Hop For Change to the ZEISS Innovation Center California for a keynote on diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging accompanied by Hip Hop performances!

  • DEIB Trainings

    DEIB Trainings

    Together with our employees and CultureAlly, a company specializing in diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion training, we took the opportunity to talk about the significance of Juneteenth to American History, the meaning of freedom in today’s society and the contributions of African American people to present-day America.

  • Pride Month

    Pride Month

    June is Pride Month. It's as good a time as any to recognize our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, communities and allies and celebrate diversity together and create an inclusive culture. On Pride Day, June 28, we had a presentation from our LGBTQIA+ employee network group leader Torey on "The Origins of Pride!" Of course, we also enjoyed some special (rainbow) dessert options in the offices.

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