Skip to main content
The Employee Experience Platform | Culture Amp
Case study

How On is making a trailblazing run toward diversity and inclusion with Culture Amp


  • 2,500+ employees globally

  • 83% of employees agree they can be their authentic selves at work

  • 46% of On’s leadership are women

  • 82% of employees strongly believe On values diversity

On, a Swiss performance sportswear brand, comprises a global workforce focused on revolutionizing footwear, apparel, and accessories for athletes around the world – all while taking a holistic approach to well-being, learning, development, and work. On knows that the essence of its success hinges on its people and what they can all build together. This belief drives the company’s focus on collaboration, embodied from the top down by its three co-founders and two co-CEOs. To support its D&I journey, On turned to Culture Amp.

Since the company’s inception, On has been very intentional about culture and has actively woven diversity and inclusion (D&I) into the very fabric of the organization. As the company began experiencing hypergrowth, On recognized the need for a formal, comprehensive D&I strategy to further enrich its workplace and ensure that support for community engagement was as great as its commitment to product innovation. In 2021, On hired Sahra Kaboli-Nejad as its Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact to lead the company's D&I strategy in partnership with On’s leadership and team members around the world. With Sahra’s background as a former Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp, On recognized her rich experience in people science and passion for building equitable spaces.

Challenge: Evolving and Redefining a D&I strategy in a fast-growing, global organization

The team at On wanted to evolve its strategic D&I framework as the company rapidly grew across the globe. On’s goal was to continue creating an environment where every employee – regardless of geographic or cultural differences – feels valued, heard, and included, and to extend these principles to the diverse communities On reaches worldwide.

On's values (referred to as Spirits) were key to evolution. On’s leadership already knew that team members held themselves accountable, trusted each other, rooted for one another, and took joy in others’ individual successes. They were confident that everyone would continue to embody the “Explorer Spirit,” step out of their comfort zones, and help further embed D&I values across the organization. As a sportswear brand, they also leaned on the Athlete Spirit, constantly evolving, pushing one another to be better versions of themselves, and looking toward their next win.

"When I joined On, everyone was already on board. They recognized the significance of D&I and were eager to put in the work. The real challenge, though a positive one, was harnessing this widespread excitement and passion for D&I across the organization."
– Sahra Kaboli-Nejad, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact at On

Solution: A data-driven, four-prong D&I strategy

To guide its D&I efforts, the team at On implemented a data-driven approach. Through annual engagement surveys and data analysis using Culture Amp’s Employee Engagement solution, the On team identified the most important areas for growth and measured the impact of its various initiatives. With these insights, On embarked on a multifaceted approach to D&I, focusing on four critical areas: education, talent acquisition, inclusion groups, and social impact programs.


At On, the journey toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace began with a foundational step: creating a shared understanding of D&I through education. To do so, On developed a comprehensive learning and development (L&D) framework that emphasized the importance of D&I from the moment a potential team member learned about the brand. Now, every phase of the employee experience, from interviewing and onboarding to leadership development, integrates D&I principles at its core.

"I had an understanding of what was going on at the organization, but really, it was crucial to look at the data. That’s where Culture Amp made a significant difference. We were, at that time, a company with over 1,000 employees; it can be challenging to hear everyone's voice through one-on-one meetings alone. So, having access to a holistic, analytical approach allowed us to make decisions that have had the greatest impact over the past three years."
– Sahra Kaboli-Nejad, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact at On

Talent acquisition

On also revamped its talent acquisition approach to attract a broader range of candidates – especially individuals who, historically, didn't consider themselves traditional athletes. On was more focused on individuals having the mindset of an athlete or teammate, rather than their physical prowess.

To achieve its talent acquisition goals, On implemented employer branding initiatives to dispel myths around the need to be a runner to join the company, which opened doors to individuals from varied backgrounds and interests.

On also formed intentional partnerships with organizations globally that support On's mission: igniting the human spirit through movement. These include collaborations with the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, EqualVoice United, Professional Women of African Heritage, and Girls in Tech Switzerland, among others.

“We focused on employer branding to communicate that On has a passion for movement and is truly a place for everyone, regardless of how they connect to specific forms of movement. It's about inclusivity for all.”
"We know that diversity in the team not only makes us more human, but also leads to positive outcomes in what we're trying to do in the world. With more diversity, we can reach more people, tailoring our approach to fit the unique needs of individuals everywhere."
– Noa Perry-Reifer, Chief People Officer at On

Moreover, On is dedicated to ensuring equity and fairness throughout the recruitment process. Through in-depth analysis and ongoing iteration, On continuously audits and adjusts its strategies to ensure all candidates are evaluated on an equitable basis.

For instance, for certain early career positions, On doesn't have prerequisites for education, opening up opportunities for professionals new to the field. Additionally, On has a history of hiring "industry outsiders" not based on job titles or experience, which allows the organization to tap into a more diverse talent pool.

Employee resource groups (ERGs) or inclusion groups

Another significant milestone was the establishment of ERGs, or inclusion groups, as On calls them. There are now 13 inclusion groups at On supporting LGBTQ+ employees, Black voices, neurodivergent employees, and more. The groups bring employees with shared identities and experiences together, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Additionally, these groups collaborate with the D&I team to host events meaningful to their communities, such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, or Hispanic Heritage Month. They also provide a direct feedback channel to Sahra's team, enabling continuous, employee-driven improvements to On’s D&I efforts.

"By saying, 'This is what we've noticed, what we want changed, or what we hope to improve upon,' inclusion groups give different communities within On a collective voice for feedback, rather than placing the burden on a single individual, which in turn, enhances psychological safety."
– Sahra Kaboli-Nejad, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact at On

Social impact

Perhaps most noteworthy is On's Right To Run initiative, a social impact program that is a testament to the company's commitment to extending its D&I values beyond its proverbial walls. This program aims to support community-based organizations that address the various barriers to movement – like access, inclusion, and safety – and get people moving and feeling healthy.

Right To Run supports organizations aligned with this mission in various ways, from long-term partnerships and one-time sponsorships to employee volunteerism, event support, and more. By addressing equitable access to sports and movement, On has strengthened its internal culture and made a tangible impact on the many communities it engages with across the globe.

Results: A more inclusive On, inside and out

Thanks to the data from Culture Amp, On was able to get a nuanced understanding of the organization's D&I landscape and workplace dynamics beyond what could be gleaned from individual conversations and focus groups. With this knowledge, the On team could make informed decisions, ensuring its actions had the most significant and positive effect on the organization's culture and people.

And the impact speaks for itself. The D&I initiatives at On have led to remarkable successes, including a more diverse workforce, confidence in On’s commitment to diversity, and stronger community outreach. Through intentional, strategic effort, On effectively embedded D&I into its culture and ethos while acknowledging that education and change is an ongoing endeavor. The results are impressive:

  • 86% of leaders report that they feel confident about their contributions towards building a more inclusive culture within their teams.
  • 83% of employees believe their managers promote an inclusive team environment.
  • 83% of employees agree they can be their authentic selves at work, which is 7 points higher than Culture Amp’s industry benchmark
  • 82% of employees strongly believe On values diversity, which is again significantly higher than Culture Amp’s benchmarks across the industry
  • 47% of On’s leadership are women, demonstrating the company’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce
"I love Culture Amp. I could talk endlessly about the insights it has provided our teams at On. The heat map feature is my favorite because it allows us to see how different groups of people may experience things differently. This is particularly valuable in a global organization, where understanding and catering to the needs of a diverse workforce is crucial."
– Sahra Kaboli-Nejad, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Impact at On

Want to learn more about On’s approach to diversity and inclusion? Check out Dr. Sahra Kaboli-Nejad’s Culture First 2024 session, Every Step Counts: On’s Diversity and Inclusion Journey

Discover more about Culture Amp’s approach to D&I

Discover more about how Culture Amp’s solution can help your organization champion D&I.

Learn more


Zurich, Switzerland


Building a D&I strategy from the ground up in a fast-scaling, global organization


D&I actions across hiring, employee resource groups, and social impact programs


A more inclusive company, inside and out

Recent case studies

Build a world-class employee experience today

Your browser is out of date. Our website is built to provide a faster, more engaging experience. Your browser may not support all of our features. Please update to the latest version of Microsoft Edge or contact your network administrator.

Close browser update banner