Number of Employees 
Number of employees

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Labor Costs
Labor Costs

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Strengthening Our Sustainable People Advantage



Our employees drive our success through their innovation, pursuit of excellence, and commitment to upholding our Values everywhere we operate in the world. They are our sustainable advantage.


To attract, develop, and retain world-class talent, we have created a culture that embraces diversity, drives inclusion, and empowers and engages our employees. We provide our people with ongoing opportunities for personal and professional growth, and we reward their efforts to take themselves and Alcoa to the next level of performance.


While being a global company sometimes presents challenges, such as differing cultural issues and governmental regulations, competition for top talent, and our decentralized structure, we are developing processes and programs that will strengthen our ability to grow our human capital.


Number of Employees
2014 Employees by Region
  Asia Australia Europe North America South America
Male 1,600 4,300 13,100 23,700 4,100
Female    400    700   3,900   6,300    900
Total 2,000 5,000 17,000 30,000 5,000
2014 Employee Breakdown
  Employee Contract Employment Type Total Workforce
Permanent Temporary Full-Time Part-Time Employees Supervised Workers
Male 46,200    900 46,400   700 46,800 Not available
Female 11,500    400 11,400   500 12,200 Not available
Total 57,700 1,300 57,800 1,200 59,000 Not available



We define inclusion as our ability to engage and leverage the differences and many perspectives that our people bring to the workplace.


As a global company, we have a workforce that offers different viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences. This diversity is invaluable in helping us better understand and meet the needs of our customers and the communities in which we operate. As such, we have undertaken numerous initiatives to ensure all employees feel valued, are encouraged to express their ideas and opinions, and are challenged to reach their full potential.


In 2014, we received top ranking in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year. We achieved a top score of 100 on the 2015 index, which evaluates U.S. companies on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. We not only earned the designation of a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality, but we were also the only metals and mining company to receive a perfect score.


Executive Accountability

All Alcoa leaders are held accountable for inclusion, which is integrated into our overall business strategy.


We tie the results to our annual variable compensation through two strategic sustainability targets to increase global female employment and U.S. minority employment in the professional and executive ranks. These targets, which represent a combined 10% of the total variable payment opportunity, are updated annually. The 2014 targets at the executive level were:

  • Global women: 21.3%
  • U.S. minority: 16.1%


At the end of 2014, women comprised 21.8% of our global executive positions, and minorities accounted for 16.4% of our U.S. executive positions. For 2015, we have set targets of 22.3% of women in global executive roles and 16.9% of U.S. minorities in such roles.

Global Women in Professional and Executive Positions
  Professional Executive
2010 23.8% 16.9%
2011 25.0% 17.6%
2012 25.3% 19.0%
2013 26.2% 20.8%
2014 26.5% 21.8%
U.S. Minorities in Professional and Executive Positions
  Professional Executive
2010 15.2% 12.9%
2011 15.4% 13.2%
2012 17.1% 16.0%
2013 18.0% 15.6%
2014 18.1% 16.4%
Domestic Partner Benefits

We provide coverage for domestic partners of either gender and their children under our U.S. health and welfare plans. We also provide domestic partners with pension benefits in non-bargained defined benefit pension plans and retiree medical plans.


Corporate-wide Employee Networks

We have numerous employee networks that advocate on behalf of specific employee groups around the world.


Alcoa Women’s Network

Since its founding in 2003, the Alcoa Women’s Network (AWN) has served as a catalyst for the recruitment, development, advancement, and retention of women at Alcoa. At the end of 2014, there were 47 local networks globally with more than 1,000 members.


Alcoa African Heritage Network

The Alcoa African Heritage Network (AAHN), which was established in 2004, focuses on the recruitment, development, advancement, and retention of African-heritage employees. More than 250 employees were members of the network at the end of 2014.


Employees at Alcoa for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality (EAGLE)

Launched in 2007, EAGLE is a network of LGBT employees, as well as other Alcoa employees—known as EAGLE Allies—who support advancement of LGBT initiatives. At the end of 2014, the network had 478 members in 13 countries. 


Site-based Networks 

Supporting our corporate-wide networks are those based at specific U.S. locations that focus on varying employee groups, including African Americans, new professionals, Hispanics, members of the military, and Asians.


Case Studies

Clearing the Career Path for Women in Brazil  



To attract, retain, and motivate our employees, we provide compensation that is competitive within the relevant labor market and rewards behaviors that deliver results against business goals.


Our compensation approach encompasses base pay, variable pay, and appropriate benefits that meet or exceed legal minimums and are compliant with all applicable laws. The structure is designed to deliver median compensation within a specific labor market, with higher compensation awarded for superior individual or team performance.


Up to 20% of our annual variable compensation plan is tied to achieving significant aspects of our sustainability targets. These include safety, diversity representation in our workforce, and reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to process improvements and improved energy efficiency. Their share of the annual variable compensation plan at the corporate level in 2014 was:

  • Safety: 5%
  • Diversity: 10%
  • CO2 reductions: 5%


Our 2014 payouts were 5.0% for safety, 8.7% for diversity, and 7.0% for CO2 reductions.


Labor Costs
Billions of U.S. dollars
Data include salaries plus employee expenses for external training, transfer and relocation, expatriate costs, workers’ compensation, travel, recognition and rewards, medical expenses, meals, recruitment, transportation, education, work clothes, retiree medical, and other employee-related expenses. Data exclude contract and temporary labor and computer- and communications-related expenses.


Executive Compensation

Our executive compensation programs are designed to motivate our top leaders to take actions that are best for the long-term performance of the company while delivering positive annual results. As such, we place heavy emphasis on performance-based incentive and equity compensation.


As executives move to greater levels of responsibility, the percentage of their pay based on performance is increased. In addition, the percentage of total compensation paid in the form of equity also increases as executives have increasing responsibility for business unit, group, or corporate performance.


For a more thorough overview of our executive compensation, please see the Compensation Discussion and Analysis in our annual proxy statement.


General Compensation

We introduced a more flexible compensation structure in 2014 that focuses on performance differentiation and long-term career development.


By collapsing 34 job grades into 18 job bands, we have created wider salary ranges. An employee’s position within a band is determined by many factors, such as performance, time in position, and salary history. Employees can move further along a band or into a higher band through promotions, increased responsibilities, sustained exceptional performance, and acceptance of career development opportunities.



Our benefits vary by country due to statutory requirements and management priorities. Examples include health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, and pension benefits.



A variety of recognition programs at the corporate, business, and location levels reward and recognize employees for exceptional performance.


Under the You Make a Difference Award Program, for example, Executive Council members and senior regional leaders instantly recognize and reward individual employees who achieve exceptional results that go beyond normal job expectations. Another program, the Global Impact Awards, recognizes teams of employees for exceptional business impact and creative ways to solve business problems effectively.


We also award special quarterly stock grants to employees who make outstanding long-term contributions to the company. These grants are intended for professional employees who are not eligible for annual equity grants. A total of 692 employees received an award under this program in 2014.


Talent Management

We source, engage, develop, and advance the best talent and leverage their full potential across our company.



We continued to face intense competition for leadership, technical, and operational talent during 2014. To overcome this challenge, we have established a broad approach that goes beyond traditional means of sourcing talent to include campus, military, and diversity recruiting efforts. We operate internship programs, partner with technical institutions, and collaborate with non-governmental organizations on workforce development. We also make it a priority to hire locally at competitive wages to contribute to the sustainability of the communities in which we operate.


In 2014, we revised the Alcoa Campus Partnership Program to further strengthen our recruiting partnerships with 17 universities. These relationships are developed and maintained year-round, which allows us to have a consistent presence on the campuses.


We also continued our work with the U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 in 2014. This initiative focuses on enabling innovation, securing the talent pipeline, and improving the business climate. We supported all three of the initiative’s components, taking a leadership role on the innovation and talent pipeline teams.



An engaged workforce is critical to meeting our business objectives. High employee engagement leads to improvements in critical performance areas, such as retention, absenteeism, and productivity.


Each year, we measure our employee engagement through our annual Global Voices Survey. This web-based tool is produced in 15 languages and contains 50 questions that measure 11 dimensions of the employee experience—employee engagement; supervisor effectiveness; leadership/vision; community commitment; diversity/inclusion; environment, health, and safety commitment; perceptions of ethics and compliance; valued employee; quality; values; and survey follow-up. We use the survey results at the corporate, business, and location levels to build upon our strengths and address identified gaps.


Overall employee engagement was 77% in 2014, up from 74% in 2013. Although the survey response rate of 91% was one percentage point lower than 2013, the rate remains higher than most external benchmarks that we follow.


Our businesses and locations use the results to develop targeted action plans that are based on a statistical analysis of key engagement drivers. We use both traditional correlation analysis and partitioning analysis, as well as a data-modeling technique that we developed to determine which factors of engagement to focus on to improve each location’s employee work experience.

2014 U.S. Employee Voluntary Turnover Rate
  Men Women Total
  4.3 4.9 4.5



We offer a variety of programs and processes to develop high-performing employees throughout the various stages of their careers.


Performance Management Process

Our performance management process is designed to focus on goal achievement to improve individual and organizational performance. It is linked with our overall people development and succession planning processes and completely integrated with our compensation system.


The performance management process is a continuous loop of planning, monitoring, executing, coaching, and assessing results. It begins with an employee and his or her manager creating a formal development plan that establishes the employee’s career goals and formalizes an individualized plan to achieve those goals. The plan, which the employee owns, may be a combination of e-learning, formalized courses, books, mentoring, and on-the-job experience.


Throughout the year, the employee regularly receives feedback from colleagues, supervisors, and internal customers. Evaluations are based on the achievement of individual and team results, and positive efforts are rewarded through compensation, career advancement, and recognition.


In 2014, 97% of our salaried employees participated in the performance management process.


Leadership Development

To ensure our leaders have the capabilities needed to drive high performance and accelerate change, we offer a number of leadership development programs.


Advancing Supervisory Excellence focuses on the development of our almost 6,000 frontline operations leaders. Over three years, participants build skills in providing feedback, building trust, coaching, resolving conflict, communicating, leading change, building inclusive work teams, and understanding operational finances.


Our Leadership Fundamentals Program, Advanced Leadership Program, and Executive Development Program are global resident programs taught by our current leaders for our future leaders at the department, function, and business levels. Participants must be identified as top talent, nominated by their business leaders, and approved by our executive leadership. Women and U.S. minority nominees who meet selection criteria are prioritized for the programs to support the development of a more diverse leadership pipeline.


During these multi-day programs, participants are immersed in learning within the leadership framework themes and are provided with both group and one-on-one coaching. Ongoing coaching and follow-up on learning outcomes continue after the program.


Our Technical Emerging Leaders Education Development Program caters specifically to developing leadership skills in emerging leaders in technical functions. Three weeks of training are spread across nine months, culminating with an action learning project using the tools and knowledge learned. There were 28 participants in this elite program in 2014.


In December 2014, we introduced the new Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Leadership Development Program to accelerate the development of EHS talent and strengthen the leadership pipeline. The 3.5-day program is designed to augment strong technical skills with targeted leadership skills in global participants identified as future leaders. Two sessions are planned for 2015.


Alcoa Mentoring Program

The Alcoa Mentoring Program is used as a development tool for top talent in our senior manager ranks. In 2014, we had 563 mentoring relationships supported by 237 mentors.


Alcoa Senior Manager Mentoring Relationships

Our online learning management system, known as AlcoaLearn, provides employees with the learning resources they require and tracks their training progress. It is available 24/7 and in 22 languages.


In 2014, the system housed 11,925 online courses and supported the administration of 857 instructor-led courses. The latter represents 336,493 global training hours during the year.



We advance talented employees primarily by strengthening our succession pipeline.


In 2014, we instituted several new functional talent reviews that identify successors and individuals ready for available development opportunities. These reviews:

  • Familiarize leaders with top talent and provides visibility into the talent pipeline across the company;
  • Provide visibility to top talent in need of new opportunities; and
  • Provide a forum to discuss talent challenges and development opportunities.


The functional reviews feed into business and resource unit reviews, which ultimately roll up to a review by our CEO and his lead team and then a separate review with the entire Alcoa Executive Council.


In 2014, the process enabled the identification of successors that are ready now or in one to three years for 97% of our 377 most critical roles.


Case Studies

Deepening Local Talent Pools

Training Brings Employment Opportunities to Disadvantaged in Brazil

Helping Military Veterans Transition to the Civilian Workforce


Labor Relations

We believe in freedom of association no matter where we operate around the globe.


Each year, we negotiate labor agreements with various unions. In 2014, we had more than 90 such agreements that covered 63% of our global workforce. Examples include the following:

  • In Australia, 66% of our Alcoa of Australia employees were covered by enterprise bargaining agreements that are certified by Fair Work Australia.
  • Collective bargaining agreements were in place for 90% of our hourly workforce in Europe.
  • In the United States, 57% of the hourly workforce was covered by a collective bargaining agreement, including a five-year master labor agreement with the United Steelworkers union that was ratified in June 2014.
  • Five standalone agreements covered 76% of our hourly employees at our eight plants in Canada.
  • We had eight standalone agreements in Brazil that covered 100% of our hourly workforce.


In addition to unions, more than 80% of our hourly workforce around the world is represented by health and safety committees at our locations. These committees help engage these employees in the development of work practices, programs, and education efforts that promote a healthy work environment.


Related Link
Human Rights