The Forbes Global 2000 lists the world's best employers - and while a number of familiar names from Apple and Amazon to Microsoft and Walt Disney have cropped up, a selection of lesser-known businesses have also made the coveted cut

forbes global 200

Brand image, working conditions and employee diversity are among the most important factors in the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s best employers, released yesterday.

Google’s parent company Alphabet topped the rundown as the only organisation with a perfect score after recently announcing that 25.5% of its leadership team are women – higher than the average of its peers – and minority group hires are on the up.

The rest of the top ten comprises a raft of household names from the US, including Microsoft (2nd), Apple (3rd), Walt Disney (4th) and Amazon (5th), in addition to German automotive giants Daimler (7th) and BMW (10th).

But a number of companies listed on Forbes’ coveted ranking are ones you may not be aware of, despite being global conglomerates in their own right. Here we take a look at some of the most notable.


World’s best employers: Celgene (9th)

Biotechnology firm Celgene ranked ninth on the Forbes list and works primarily on the discovery, development and commercialisation of cancer treatments.

Founded in 1986 by David Stirling and Sol Barer and headquartered in New Jersey, it also develops various therapies for treating inflammatory diseases using gene and protein regulation.

The business is worth more than $60bn (£45bn) and last year recorded sales figures of $13.5bn (£10.2bn)

world's best employers
The Celgene team with one of its patients (Credit: Facebook/Celgene)

World’s best employers: Vicinity Centres (19th)

In at number 19 is Vicinity Centres, an Australian real estate company worth almost $8bn (£6bn).

Headquartered in Chadstone, it was founded in 2011 and serves mainly as a real estate investment trust, developing and managing shopping centres, while its service business segment handles funds management.


World’s best employers: Larsen & Toubro (22nd)

Construction, engineering and manufacturing firm Larsen & Toubro ranked 22nd on the list and was founded in 1938 by Henning Holck-Larsen and Soren Kristian Toubro.

The India-based company also works in areas such as electrical, automation and information technology, while its financial services department manages retail and corporate finance.


World’s best employers: Olin (23rd)

The 23rd best employer Olin comprises two separate businesses: Chlor Alkali Products and Winchester.

The former is a manufacturer of chlorine, hydrochloric acid and bleach products, while the latter loads and packs sporting and industrial ammunition.

Founded in 1892 and based in the US, Olin is worth $5.5bn (£4.1bn) and has a total of more than 6,000 employees across its two divisions.


World’s best employers: Stryker (39th)

The 39th ranked medical firm Stryker is based in Michigan, US, and has a value of more than $60bn (£45bn).

Its 33,000 employees work to develop surgical instruments and equipment, as well as spinal implants and neurovascular implants.

The company was founded in 1941 by Dr Homer Stryker.

world's best employers
Stryker founder Dr Homer Stryker (Credit: Stryker)

World’s best employers: Noble Energy (46th)

Oil and gas business Noble Energy was listed as the 46th best employer by Forbes, and was founded in 1932 by Lloyd Noble.

The Texas-based company develops various oil and gas properties, while its products range from crude oil and natural gas to natural gas liquids.

It’s worth almost $17bn (£13bn) and has more than 2,200 employees.


World’s best employers: Nucor (54th)

Founded in 1905, 54th ranked Nucor is an iron and steel manufacturer worth more than $20bn (£15bn) and comprising over 25,000 employees.

The various arms of its global business produce everything from steel joists and girders to wire mesh and metal building systems.


World’s best employers: Leidos (64th)

Forbes placed aerospace and defence firm Leidos as 64th on its list – a company worth almost $10bn (£8bn) with more than 31,000 employees.

The Virginia-based company provides the US Department of Defense with health, energy, infrastructure, intelligence, surveillance, and security technology and solutions.

It was founded in 1969 by John Robert Beyster.

World’s best employers: NetEase (80th)

Chinese internet technology service provider NetEase came 80th and is worth more than $35bn (£27bn).

Founded in 1997 by Lei Ding, the Beijing-based business offers everything from multi-player online role playing games to internet banner advertising and premium email services.


World’s best employers: Praxair (87th)

Number 87 is Praxair, an industrial gas supplier based in Connecticut, operating primarily in North and South America as well as Europe.

With a value of more than $45bn (£34bn) and about 26,000 employees, its various facilities produce and distribute industrial gas, with the European countries it serves including Italy, Spain and Germany.