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The 50 Best Places to Work 2021 from Glassdoor: Abcam comes third and AstraZeneca is 13th

Abcam has been recognised as the UK’s third best place to work in 2021 by Glassdoor - beating Google, Apple and Facebook.

Salesforce topped the list, followed by Microsoft, while AstraZeneca came 13th, Anglian Water reached 30th and Arm was 41st.

Glassdoor ranked the best places to work based on employee feedback (43991872)
Glassdoor ranked the best places to work based on employee feedback (43991872)

The annual Employees’ Choice Awards are based on feedback from staff.

Cambridge Biomedical Campus-based Abcam, which provides reagents and tools for the life science industry, was described by one employee as “an innovative and ambitious company that has a positive and enduring impact on the world”. It was praised for having a “great culture - open, friendly, smart and ambitious, fast-paced, global and diversified - that prioritises personal development and growth”.

Nick Skinner, SVP human resources at Abcam, said: “I am delighted by the positive feedback received from our employees, especially over the past year. Delivering our ambitious strategy depends on our engaged global team and I am proud of what we’ve achieved together. We continuously strive to better support the life science community to accelerate scientific breakthroughs that can benefit all.”

Nick Skinner, SVP human resources at Abcam, (43991877)
Nick Skinner, SVP human resources at Abcam, (43991877)

Abcam attributed its success to its focus on attracting, developing and retaining top talent, and to promoting continuous learning, diversity and inclusion, while supporting local communities.

Its employee rewards and recognition initiatives include the multiple award-winning AbShare, a three-year employee share purchase plan with a 10 times share match,

Its response to the Covid-19 pandemic included measures to protect employees while increasing connectivity and supporting wellbeing at its 13 global locations, including its Discovery Drive headquarters.

Abcam's headquarters on Discovery Drive, on Cambridge Biomedical Campus (43991879)
Abcam's headquarters on Discovery Drive, on Cambridge Biomedical Campus (43991879)

Christian Sutherland-Wong, CEO at Glassdoor, which provides insights about jobs and companies, said: “This year’s winning employers have proven, according to employees, that even during extraordinary times, they’ll rise to the challenge to support their people. A mission-driven culture, transparent leadership and career opportunities are always hallmarks of Best Places to Work winners. This year, we also see exceptional employers who have prioritised the health, safety and well-being of their employees.”

Google came fourth in this year’s list, while Apple was seventh and Facebook tenth.

Of AstraZeneca, one employee said: “The culture of the company is great, putting employees’ development at the heart of what they do.”

On Anglian Water, one said: “Anglian Water is a great employer. They provide excellent benefits from a competitive salary to private health care. All the employees are lovely and very supportive which has been a great benefit. The role is very varied and I have experienced a wide range of placements.”

And an Arm employee described the Cambridge chip design company as “unique” thanks to its “culture, people, flexibility, benefits, training - everything.”

Abcam was ranked sixth on the list in 2020 and last September its CEO, Alan Hirzel, came second on Glassdoor’s list of the best UK leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The top 50 Glassdoor Best Places to Work in the UK 2021

1 Salesforce

2 Microsoft

3 Abcam

4 Google

5 Softcat


7 Apple

8 Bella Italia


10 Facebook

11 Sky Betting & Gaming

12 Nando's

13 AstraZeneca

14 J P Morgan

15 American Express

16 Sage

17 Johnson & Johnson

18 Mace

19 Majestic Wine

20 Just Eat

21 Shell Energy Retail

22 Siemens

23 The Body Shop


25 Goldman Sachs

26 Cromwell Tools

27 IFS

28 Dell Technologies

29 Network Rail

30 Anglian Water

31 Mondelēz International

32 Deloitte

33 Capgemini Invent

34 Taylor Wimpey

35 CarShop

36 BAT

37 Morgan Stanley

38 Bank of America

39 BlackRock

40 Royal London

41 Arm

42 Waitrose & Partners

43 wagamama

44 Cisco Systems

45 Jacobs

46 GlaxoSmithKline

47 Awin

48 Walt Disney Company

49 Greggs

50 Shell

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