Global Diversity
& Inclusion

Global Diversity
& Inclusion

Innovation comes from fostering inclusion, creating a sense of belonging on teams, and unleashing diversity in all its dimensions. That’s how we win with our patients.


We understand that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our success and core to future innovation. We foster a culture of inclusion and belonging where all employees feel welcomed and valued─a culture where we regard every individual as a source of competitive advantage in our larger mission of saving and improving lives.

  • We understand that true innovation is achieved not in a vacuum, but through the powerful intersection of ideas from employees across a range of diverse backgrounds: age, race, gender, ethnicity, culture, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, religion, faith, and veteran and disability status
  • We motivate every employee whether working independently on a project, or participating collectively as a team to solve for the next great breakthrough in scientific advancement; they feel a deep sense of belonging, appreciation and value for the unique perspective they bring
  • We create an enterprise-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion: through our leaders who embody inclusion in how they manage teams to bring the very best ideas forward; through more than 10,000 employee business resource group members that build cultural awareness, share business insights and support talent, inclusion and corporate reputation goals; through educational programs and just-in-time tools to further the career advancement and managerial skills of employees, and through strategic partnerships to reinforce our ties and alliances to the external marketplace

It is with this focus and commitment that we uphold diversity and inclusion as core values and as essential to every aspect of our business. Through these we are able to successfully innovate, execute, adapt and grow. This, in turn, delivers intrinsic, long-term value to our patients, employees, customers and shareholders.

Our commitment from the top

Our leaders believe diversity and inclusion (D&I) drive our business by breaking down barriers and changing minds so we can unleash the powerful potential of our employees. Among the most significant and visible advocates of D&I at our company is CEO, Kenneth C. Frazier. Mr. Frazier publicly advocates that diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a fundamental business decision.

“We are deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment that embraces different perspectives and values the contributions of each individual. Having a globally and locally diverse workforce makes us a more innovative and agile company—and one better attuned to the needs of our customers, health care providers and patients who ultimately use our products.”

Kenneth C. Frazier
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Our CEO reinforces this commitment to diversity throughout our company by:

  • Approving diversity metrics and reviewing progress against aspirational talent goals for women and underrepresented ethnic groups
  • Driving accountability through meetings with the company’s leaders to review key strategic initiatives centered on global diversity
  • Conferring with the company’s head of GD&I on strategic diversity and inclusion solutions and innovation opportunities
  • Engaging in company-wide events, town halls and fireside chats that provide a platform for discussion with employees on a range of important topics related to GD&I

A powerful example of global enterprise outreach on diversity and inclusion and our CEO’s commitment to this as a priority business focus is the 2017 Global Diversity & Inclusion Experience Month.

Designed as a month-long series of twenty signature events, the Global Diversity & Inclusion Experience Month brought together colleagues from around the world for several educational and experiential events, including a global webcast featuring remarks and a fireside chat with Ken Frazier, a leadership panel discussion, highlights of regional examples of diversity and inclusion and much more. An interactive theatre group opened the session using actors to role-play and provide insight into hidden biases and how they manifest in the workplace.

Externally, Mr. Frazier plays an active role in communicating his commitment to diversity and inclusion through corporate sponsorship of national advocacy and health organizations, participation in diversity leadership events, and other visible platforms.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

In June 2017, Mr. Frazier, along with other CEOs, signed a pledge that outlines a specific set of actions the signatories will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, employees feel comfortable, and all are empowered to discuss this very important topic.

By signing this pledge, we are demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion by:

  • Continuing to make our workplaces trusting environments where all can have complex conversations about diversity and inclusion
  • Expanding unconscious bias education
  • Continuing to share best—and unsuccessful—practices

Chief Human Resources Officer and Diversity Officer Summit

Building off the CEO ACTION for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, we sponsored a special session of more than 250 chief human resources officers and Diversity and Inclusion Officers to strengthen diversity and inclusion strategies. Mr. Frazier, members of our Leadership Team, along with employees from our company and other companies who signed the pledge, convened as a group to learn, listen, and support CEO efforts to lead with action-oriented steps and drive diversity and inclusion commitments.

“The business community is united in our dedication to further weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our companies. Participants are working together to find ways to recognize and overcome unconscious biases, create trusting environments where difficult conversations can take place, and share the stories of successes and lessons learned—with the purpose of bringing better results for our talent and our businesses.”

Mirian Graddick-Weir
Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources

As a result of our CEO’s public advocacy, positive role modeling, demonstrating the importance of service and fostering the next generation of diverse leaders in America he was honored with the Ronald H. Brown American Journey Award. The award, given annually, honors outstanding Americans who exemplify the vision and transformative ideals of Ron Brown, the first African-American U.S. Secretary of Commerce. At the ceremony, Ken expressed hope about Americans coming together to develop workable solutions to the problems we face and spoke to the Ron Brown Scholars young African Americans of outstanding promise who are helping to shape our society.

In addition to our CEO, our company’s executives are committed to GD&I as a business strategy. One hundred percent of our company’s executives are mentors, helping and enabling employees to achieve their full potential. Of note among our company’s executives:

  • Dr. Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, executive vice president for strategic communications, global public policy and population health and chief patient officer was selected as the 2018 Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
  • Celeste Warren, vice president, Global Diversity & Inclusion was named one of Diversity Global’s “2017 Influential Women in Global Diversity.” She was also chosen as one of Black Enterprise’s Top Executives in Global Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Frank Cylburn, president of our company’s Global Oncology business unit, was honored with the Ebony Power 100 Award
  • Lisa Shipley, vice president, Global Head of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drugs was named as a National Association of Female Executive (NAFE) Woman of Excellence

Like any business priority, global diversity and inclusion requires a clear strategy, deliberate focus and sustained action.

We use diversity and inclusion best practices and implement our strategy to focus on establishing a strong foundation for D&I, fostering internal workforce and workplace excellence, driving external reputation, and achieving innovation through business integration. Among the key priorities within this model are four distinct ambassador teams that play a substantial role in helping all employees thrive and helping to achieve our corporate mission of saving and improving lives.

  • The Global Disability Inclusion Strategic Council—The Council recognizes the importance of a disability-confident workforce that understands how full inclusion of people with disabilities increases creativity and innovation for its employees, customers, external partners and suppliers.
  • The GD&I Extended HR Leadership Team—This cross-functional, cross-divisional group of Human Resources professionals supports GD&I with policies, processes, programs, benefits, work-life integration, compensation, training, and business partners to foster greater employee engagement
  • Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) Executive Leadership Council—With ten EBRGs representing different constituencies and 10,000 members worldwide, the Council strengthens and diversifies the global leadership pipeline and provides culturally relevant insights that drive our success. The ten EBRGs represented at our company are Women, Veterans, Hispanic/Latino, African Ancestry, Asia Pacific, Native American/Indigenous, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Differently-able, Interfaith, Generational. Each EBRG has an executive sponsors—many of whom report directly to the CEO.
  • GD&I Business Consortium—This consortium enhances our business performance through GD&I best practices—creating a competitive business advantage and driving shareholder value. Members come from Business Strategy, Supplier Diversity, Clinical Trials and other key business functions.


We use a comprehensive approach to ensure recruiting, retention, and leadership development goals are systematically executed throughout our company and that we hire talented future leaders across all dimensions of diversity.

  • Our candidate selection process includes aspirational diversity recruiting goals and the selection process includes representation of diverse talent on all panels, including women and under-represented ethnic groups.
  • We provide unconscious bias training to managers and external recruiting organizations on strategies for the candidate selection and hiring process.
  • We utilize a comprehensive communications strategy, marketing outreach, and strategic alliance partnerships to ensure that top prospective candidates in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Marketing) and other important business functions are represented in our recruiting efforts. The strategy comprises academic and university relations, participation in targeted job fairs, national advocacy alliances, community outreach, branded communications, and external recognition.
  • The result of this approach is an improvement in the cultivation of a diverse employee population.


We partner with organizations in both professional and academic settings to reach the broadest possible base of talent that support our business goals across the global business enterprise and throughout the value chain. Some examples of where we recruit and where we leverage strategic relationships to expand our reach include higher-education campuses and institutions that have a history of serving African-American and Latino students.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

  • We partner with, the largest social network and career site targeting the students, faculty, and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • The partnership is designed to introduce graduating seniors from HBCUs to our company’s Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program is an entry-level program designed to create a pipeline of emerging talent who can prepare for leadership positions of increasing responsibility and visibility within key divisions of our business.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

  • To enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs, we signed a Letter of Support for the National Science Foundation and St. Peters College (SPU) to provide STEM majors with career relevant hands-on experiences and student mentoring through interactions between company representatives and SPU students as they make their transition into their professional lives

We partner with Hiring Our Heroes, an organization that provides employment opportunities nationwide to veterans with disabilities. Each branch of the military produces scientists, engineers and doctors, all of whom are aligned with our company’s needs. Each year the company offers an internship through the Corporate Fellow Program, which provides transitioning service members with civilian work experiences to prepare those individuals for smooth transitions into meaningful civilian careers.

Through our strong partnership with the National Technology Institute for the Deaf (NTID), we are able to source a pool of talented students who can make an immediate and valuable contribution to our business. Together with NTID, we helped to raise awareness of the deaf culture and empower managers to create a more inclusive environment for students with a hearing disability.

Our IT colleagues collaborated with the Chickasaw Nation through the IT Talent Management Workshop with the Chickasaw Nation to find ways to encourage more Native Americans to enter IT careers. Chickasaw Nation talent experts came to our company to participate in the 2nd Human Centered Design Workshop as a strategy to attract and develop Native talent.

“The Power of Performance: Leadership At The Next Level” conference, co-presented by the National Black MBA Association® and Prospanica®, brought together MBA students from diverse backgrounds and organizations looking to hire top talent and increase representation in their organizations.

We have strong relationships and partnerships with the following organizations to support talent development needs:

  • AccessSTEM
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
  • ASCEND—largest nonprofit organization for pan-Asian business professionals
  • Black Girls Code (BGC)
  • Catalyst—the leading women’s research organization
  • Executive Leadership Council (ELC)
  • Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)
  • Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA)
  • Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
  • Hispanic Alliance for Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
  • INROADS College Links Program (corporate charitable contributions)
  • National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)
  • National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE)
  • National Organization on Disability (NOD)
  • National Society for Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)/Prospanica
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  • National Technology Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
  • National Urban League (NUL)
  • Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
  • Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
  • Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) university chapters
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • STEMConnector
  • United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN)
  • Women of Color in Pharma (WOCIP)


Diversity is the measure while “inclusion” is the mechanism by which we engage all employees to contribute to their full potential. To ensure that we foster a culture of inclusion we design educational programs and encourage leadership behaviors around perceptions of fairness and respect, value, and feeling a sense of belonging. We actively leverage the wealth of knowledge, insights, and perspectives of all employees in an open, trusting, non-judgmental workplace—one where everyone feels they are known, valued and respected.

Our “Diversity and Learning Development Catalog” allows for ongoing access to foundational training and programs such as “unconscious bias” and “micro-inequities,” executive seminars, peer coaching, external conferences, and more. Examples of our inclusion-focused educational programs include the following:

  • Foundations of Diversity & Inclusion Training: In June 2017, the Global Diversity & Inclusion COE launched the Foundations of Diversity & Inclusion training. In this course, employees learn the foundations of diversity & inclusion and explore why diversity & inclusion is important to our company and the broader marketplace. Since the launch, more than one third of employees globally have taken this training. This training has been translated in to our company’s nine core languages.
  • Unconscious Bias Education: Using thought leadership related to unconscious bias in the workplace, all company vice presidents and above were introduced to Unconscious Bias Education (UBE) as an enabler to identify and mitigate hidden biases. In order to cultivate a mindset of conscious inclusion, a UBE toolkit was developed to support managers at all stages of the employee life cycle—from recruiting, to onboarding, to development, retention and promotion.
  • Micro-Inequities: Our company offers employees training options to reinforce our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Micro-inequities training helps to create a more fully inclusive work environment by providing employees with an opportunity to learn about and avoid non-inclusive behaviors.


We invest in career advancement education and provide targeted development offerings for high potential talent and managers. Here are a few hallmark examples of our diversity and inclusion education programs:

Women’s Sponsorship Program
The purpose of the Women’s Sponsorship Program is to accelerate the movement and to improve readiness and visibility of women and women of color into positions of greater leadership responsibility. This two-year engagement between the sponsor and protégé is curated to help build the network and personal brand of high potential women leaders and to further their development and career.

Women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Manufacturing Marketing)
Our company hosted two Women in STEMM conferences during 2017, one in the United States and one in Singapore for our women employees. This conference provided leadership and career development workshops for women across the organization. 

The Diverse Leadership Program
Launched in November 2017, we provide an innovative leadership development program focused on strengthening the pipeline of ethnically diverse talent to increase representation in our senior leadership.

MSD Fellowship for Global Health 
The MSD Fellowship for Global Health is a field-based corporate pro bono program that embeds highly qualified MSD employees into NGOs. The Fellowship is one way that our company is helping answer the global health needs of the underserved. Learn more about the MSD Fellowship for Global Health.


Our company is has consistently been named as a top-scorer on the Disability Equality Index® produced by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities. We understand that by creating a culture of inclusion where employees with disabilities can thrive fosters innovation, ideation and drives business outcomes.

In 2015, our company’s Global Disability Inclusion Council, a cross-functional group of leaders focused on inclusive best practices, embarked on a five-year strategy encompassing areas such as Information Technology, Facilities, Health & Benefits, Talent Acquisition, Labor Relations, Supplier Diversity and D&I capability building.

We are a founding partner of the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Mentoring and Development Program. This program helps disability-owned businesses to better connect with corporate supply chains and each other, giving them valuable support, networking, and potential business opportunities. The outcomes and connections from the Disability Supplier Diversity Mentoring and Development Program empower diverse suppliers and better benefit corporate buying functions. Learn more about our supplier diversity program.

In addition to the creation of the Global Disability Inclusion Council, we leverage a comprehensive strategic platform to address full disability inclusion, titled “Workplace EnABLEment.” This is our first enterprise-wide approach addressing the entire spectrum including employee experience including employee and manager awareness on disability inclusion, talent acquisition, retention and advancement, a just-in-time manager training toolbox, communications support, community outreach, and a measurement system to track results.

During GD&I Experience Month, our capABILITY Network hosted the America’s Disability Rights Museum on Wheels, a 48-foot, interactive traveling museum that tells the story of the fight for equal rights by people with disabilities in the United States. Later in the month, colleagues had the chance to attend a tactile carnival, which emphasized the sense of touch and featured a variety of carnival games and prizes that were fully accessible to people who are deaf and blind.

Self-ID Campaign

We have conducted a self-ID campaign designed to comply with U.S. federal regulations and to reinforce a culture of inclusion by inviting employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to voluntarily self-identify disability, LGBT and veteran status. The program has received a strong response from employees, and we were invited to participate on the Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Roundtable to share best practices. In 2017, we saw a 200 percent Increase in Self-Identification of Employees with Disabilities.


Our EBRGs represent volunteer organizations of employees for different diversity constituencies aligned around supporting talent acquisition, sharing business insights and enhancing the company’s reputation in external events. EBRGs support the growth of employees—both those new to the organization, as well as existing employees—by affording them development opportunities, networking forums to meet new people, and mentoring opportunities. The EBRGs also play an important role in cultivating talent to prepare them for leadership roles. Each is supported by company leaders who provide counsel, insight and support for its business plans.

With more than 10,000 members worldwide, EBRGs represent different constituency groups, including women, veterans, Hispanic/Latino, African ancestry, Asia-Pacific, Native American/Indigenous, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, differently able, interfaith and generational.

  • League of Employees of African Descent (LEAD)
  • Asia Pacific Association (APA)
  • CapAbility Network
  • Hispanos Organization (MHO)
  • Interfaith Organization (MIO)
  • Rainbow Alliance (MRA)
  • Next Gen Network (NGN)
  • Native American & Global Indigenous People
  • Veterans Leadership Network (VLN)
  • Women’s Network (MWN)

“Diversity and inclusion are not just abstract concepts…they are core values and strategic business imperatives that deliver business results.”

Celeste R. Warren
Vice President, Human Resources
Global Diversity & Inclusion Center of Excellence


The GD&I Business Consortium brings a business mind-set to four specific initiatives through which our company believes it can make the greatest impact.

In addition to EBRGs, we leverage the business insights of employees via D.R.I.V.E.N. (Delivering Real Insights Via Employee Networks) to support our company’s business objectives. Employees in the United States and Puerto Rico can contribute to our success by joining this secure, collaborative community of employees designed to allow them to share their perspective anonymously and help drive success for our company. The program is designed to allow its members to share their perspective anonymously and help drive success for our company.

For example, in June 2017, the Alzheimer’s team used the D.R.I.V.E.N. platform to better understand the potential utility of a new treatment currently being investigated and the type of education and support that will be needed to identify and treat patients early in the disease progression. Learn more about D.R.I.V.E.N. here.

“D.R.I.V.E.N. represents true innovation in the pharmaceutical industry and allows us to take the best practices from other industries to get the quick, cost-effective and deep insights we need to drive our business forward by leveraging the diverse experience and perspective of our own employees.”

Alexine Tranquada
Director, Global Customer and Brand Insights

Supplier Diversity: In 2017, we were named to the Billion Dollar Roundtable for the first time in our company’s history. This coveted designation underscores our commitment to economic inclusion & supplier diversity and its alignment to who we are and what we stand for as a company. We believe our collaboration with diverse suppliers helps us to better understand and anticipate the needs of the customers we serve. Learn more about supplier diversity here.

U.S. Clinical Operations: We have set goals to ensure appropriate diversity representation of patients going through our clinical trials in the U.S. for relevant areas. In addition, and to underscore the link between diversity and clinical trials, our company hosted a global webcast featuring a conversation with the family of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who in 1951 had some of her cervical cancer cells harvested without her consent. These cells later played a role in some of the most important advances in medicine. Learn more about R&D’s commitment to diversity in clinical trials here.

Health Literacy: Our company is committed to ensuring diversity in clinical trials, championing health literacy across countries and divisions, and proposing new solutions to improve health care equity around the globe. In 2017, the advancement of health literacy was named a key priority for the Global Diversity & Inclusion Business Consortium. Learn more about health literacy here.

External Awards and Recognition

  • Working Mother
  • NAFE
  • Latina Style
  • Diversity Best Practices
  • GI Jobs
  • Black Enterprise
  • HBA
  • Disability Equality Index
  • NOD Leading Disability Employer


Gender & Ethnicity 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Women in the workforce47% 48% 48% 48% 48%
Women on the Board 17% 17% 21% 23% 23%
Women in executive roles1 31% 31% 34% 31% 32%
Women on the senior management team2 35% 31% 34% 36% 38%
Women in management roles3 37% 37% 38% 39% 40%
Members of underrepresented ethnic groups on the Board 25% 25% 21% 23% 23%
Members of underrepresented ethnic groups in executive roles (U.S.) 20% 20% 20% 23% 23%
Members of underrepresented ethnic groups on the senior management team (U.S.)23% 15% 18% 18% 17%
Members of underrepresented ethnic groups in the workforce (U.S.) 24% 24% 26% 26% 26%
Members of underrepresented ethnic groups in management roles (U.S.)18% 20% 23% 23% 23%
New hires that were female 46% 49% 50% 51% 49%
New hires that were members of underrepresented ethnic groups (U.S.)25% 22% 33% 37% 36%
Note: Our company has publicly disclosed EEO-1 information since 1999. Our 2017 data is available at
1. “Executive” is defined as the chief executive officer and two structural levels below.
2. “Senior management team” is defined as the fourth structural level below the CEO.
3. “Management role” is defined as all other managers with direct reports not reflected in notes 1 or 2.