Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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One of Our Laser Development Engineers Demonstrates
Her Findings

Diversity Drives Innovation

At Thorlabs, we know that the diversity of our employee base and the community of customers we serve is an integral facet of our ability to innovate. Our team members come from many cultures, religions, nationalities, gender orientations, and backgrounds. Our global reach extends to 21 offices in nine countries, each of which celebrates the uniqueness of its employees and caters to the needs of the local customer base.

  • We Recognize that Diversity in Thought and Background is Essential for Advancements in Research and Technology
  • We Are Committed to Building a Workforce that Reflects the Diversity of Our Global Customers and Research Partners
  • We Focus on Recruiting the Best Talent Globally, Ensuring a Culture of Inclusion, and Promoting the Education and Career Growth and Development of Current Employees

Recent initiatives include:

  • Engaging with a Diversity Coach
  • Launching Inclusive Leadership Training
  • Creating Internal Employee Success Groups (ESGs) that Spearhead Employee Engagement Projects
  • Developing the Thorlabs Ambassadors Program: A unique network of college students that helps us create educational content for our
    website to better understand – and support – our diverse customer base

    Investing in the Future of Photonics

    We believe cultivating the next generation of diverse researchers, engineers, and technicians is essential to our industry. That’s why we support programs that expand STEM education opportunities for all.

    Investing in the Future of Optics with Monroe Community College
    We are founding members of Optica's
    Amplify Scholarship. It is awarded annually
    to 10 Black university students. 
    We are sponsors of several chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and
    We support annual scholarships and helped develop the Machine Tool and Optics Technology programs, which allow students to learn from Thorlabs personnel through work in our manufacturing facilities.

    Our Engineering and Work-Study Program
    at our UK office enables university students
    to gain real-world work experience while
    earning a tuition stipend.

    Fairness, Equity, and Dedication

    “At Thorlabs, we know that diversity makes us stronger and drives innovation. We are all a part of a global scientific community and are committed to a workplace based on respect, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from each other and our differences.” 
    Jennifer Cable, President, Thorlabs

    Our Elementary School Outreach Includes Working with a 
    Girls Who Code Club

    Promoting Diversity in STEM Education

    We seek to educate and empower the next generation of scientists and engineers to harness their curiosity and innovation while making photonics more accessible for all. 

    Globally, our efforts include:

    • Performing STEM Outreach for K-12 Students through Engineer-Led Optics and Life Science Courses
    • Providing Funding and Engineering Mentors for more than 20 High School Robotics and 20 College Technology Programs in the U.S.
    • Supporting the Summer School for Young Scientists of Condensed Matter Physics in Japan
    • Sponsoring a Biophotonics Summer School in Sweden
    • Volunteering with a Student Research Center Focused on Mathematics, IT, Natural Sciences, and Technology in Germany
    • Partnering with More than 30 Colleges to Teach Joint Courses, Offer Guest Lectures, Collaborate on Research, Host Student Visitors, and Develop New Programs
    • Providing Paid Summer Internships at Many of Our Locations to Help Students Gain Relevant Work Experience

    Thorlabs also encourages all members of our workforce to elevate their education and grow their careers by offering 100% tuition reimbursement in addition to internal physics, optics, and engineering classes. We actively look to promote from within and share internal job opportunities weekly.

    One of Our Engineers Reviews a Product Design File

    Empowering Scientists of Color

    Thorlabs has benefited from the racial, ethnic, and global diversity of our workforce and customer base. We stand in solidarity in the fight against racism and to actively recruit, mentor, and promote people of color. We also recognize that we can, and must, do better.

    We realize that our industry needs to take greater action in encouraging and supporting the full participation of students, scientists, researchers, and engineers of color, as this underrepresented population often does not have the support needed to pursue and achieve a career in the sciences. To this end, we are committed to working with our industry associations to advocate for greater inclusion and racial equality in photonics, optics, and engineering. To represent our commitment to addressing these issues in our industry, we provide support to the following organizations:  

    A Spectrum is Generated Using Thorlabs Components

    Advocating for LGBTQIA+ Team Members

    We support our LGBTQIA+ employees, customer base, and members of the community. We are fortunate to have employees who empower one another and who are committed to helping increase our diversity and inclusivity here at Thorlabs.

    As a company, we have rewritten policies to be more inclusive and prioritize inclusivity when building new facilities, such as creating all-gender restrooms. We support organizations such as the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and look to take direction from employees who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. Our ongoing commitment is to ensure that Thorlabs is a safe and comfortable place for all to work and thrive via freedom of self-expression.

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