Employees are valuable company assets and important contributors to a company's sustainability. A company's growth and success also drives the realization of employees' personal value. At Huawei, we believe that we must take action to care for our employees and ensure they have a sense of belonging. We must also provide a broad platform where employees can realize their personal value. This is the only way our company can achieve sustainable development while remaining full of vitality.
By advocating proactivity, diversity, and openness, we are building a talent management system that promotes collaboration and shared success between Huawei and its employees. We face a more dynamic business environment today than ever before, with internal demands growing in complexity. We need to open up the organization to outside talent, and explore ways to unite the world's best minds with a common purpose. Internally, we fast-track the promotion of strong performers and give them more growth opportunities. We also adopt different approaches for different groups of talent within the company, forming an integrated structure of leaders, experts, and professionals, each with their own unique purview. This will encourage our top performers to maximize contributions in their prime, in the roles that suit them most, and receive the greatest possible rewards in return.
As of December 31, 2018, Huawei had approximately 188,000 employees worldwide. Our employees come from about 160 countries and regions. In China alone, our employees come from 41 ethnic groups. We have launched many diversity initiatives focusing on nationality, gender, age, race, and religion. For example, we emphasize gender equality in employment and prohibit gender bias, in strict compliance with all applicable international conventions as well as local laws and regulations. The proportion of female employees has remained stable over the past several years. We also prioritize the selection of female managers and help them advance their careers. In 2018, women made up 7.05% of our management team.
As a global company, we actively recruit staff from all over the world to boost workforce localization. Hiring local employees enables us to better understand the unique culture of each country and region where we operate, while promoting local employment and economic growth. In 2018, Huawei had over 28,000 employees in countries outside China, with a localization rate of about 70%*.
*Overseas workforce localization rate = Number of local hires/Total number of employees in an overseas office x100%
"During my three years working at Huawei, I discovered a great company that is really focused on serving its customers and contributes to society by investing heavily in R&D. This brings the world the best top-quality digital communication solutions and connectivity. As a local employee, I am warmly welcomed by the whole team, and at Huawei we are all doing our best to ensure multi-cultural integration with a sense of ownership of one common team."
——Fernando Manuel Montes Martinez, Latin America Carrier Business Department
Huawei has a robust employee healthcare management system. In 2018, Huawei focused more on preventive healthcare and developed an "umbrella" of protection for Huawei employees around the world. We raised awareness and encouraged employees to stay healthy and take care of themselves. By pooling together internal and external resources, we established an integrated healthcare platform. This provides employees with access to different healthcare channels and services and more effectively protects them from health risks.
As well as mandatory insurance plans required by law, we offer every employee global accident insurance, critical illness insurance, life insurance, and commercial insurance (e.g., business travel insurance), and medical assistance. Huawei's employee benefits include three parts: social insurance, commercial insurance, and medical assistance. With these three types of benefits, we can offer sufficient benefits to protect employees.
In 2018, Huawei established a medical support team for hardship regions like Africa. We sent a team of doctors and healthcare professionals to more than 10 countries, including Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. By working with local medical resources, we intend to improve the health of our employees working in hardship regions and protect them from diseases so that they can work safely. We also replicate any successful experiences in other hardship countries.
As a global company with a presence in over 170 countries and regions, Huawei has built a global value chain with the world's best resources. We comply with the local laws and regulations in every country and region in which we operate, and we share value with our global partners and customers. When executing corporate human resource policies, as well as developing and implementing local regulations, we always consider local laws, regulations, and industry standards. We also give special consideration to local customs and conventions.
When it comes to employee recruitment, promotions, and compensation, we never discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, gender, nationality, age, pregnancy, or disability. We prohibit the use of forced, bonded, or indentured labor, and we have detailed, equitable regulations that cover each major phase of an employee's relationship with the company, including recruitment, employment, and exit. No incidents of forced labor have ever taken place in Huawei's history.
We prohibit the use of child labor, and have effective policies and measures in place to prevent any recruitment or use of child labor. We also require the same of our suppliers and conduct regular audits to ensure their compliance.
We respect the legal rights of our employees regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining. We never prevent employees from participating in the lawful activities of registered labor unions as long as participation is voluntary and does not violate local laws.
Our Employee Relationship Department has created communication channels to collect and understand employees' opinions and suggestions. Employees can file complaints through channels such as the complaint hotline of the Committee of Ethics and Compliance (CEC) and the HR complaint and suggestion hotline.
In May 2018, there was another outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. In response, Huawei immediately established specialist monitoring groups in the affected countries and regions, developed notification mechanisms, and regulated the movement of employees into and out of the affected areas. In addition, Huawei invited experts from China's National Health Commission and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to give lectures about Ebola. We also sent medical experts to the frontline to ensure the health of Huawei employees and their family members in affected areas. By the end of 2018, no Huawei employee or family members had been reported to have contracted Ebola.
To explore preventive healthcare programs, Huawei worked closely with its healthcare and insurance partners. We piloted a "health bonus points" program to encourage employees to exercise more through walking, jogging, yoga, and swimming. Participants could claim rewards with the points they collected. The awards are typically fitness products or services such as healthy meals, healthy drinks, and health insurance. The program was warmly welcomed by our employees, reinforcing Huawei's philosophy that everyone should care for their own health.
At Huawei, we care deeply about employees' mental health. The Self-assessment Checklist on Mental Health and Stress is one of the many tools we use to help employees assess their stress levels and regularly seek health advice. In addition, we bring in or work with many experienced mental health experts and institutions to promptly respond to employees' needs. Huawei pays close attention to employees working in hardship regions outside of China. These employees often work in harsh natural or physical conditions, so we have established a mental health hotline to provide a psychological safety net for them and their families.