Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kudos, To Kenilworth: Once Again, Merck Maintains A High Standard -- On Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion

There will be no caveats here. Merck is clearly leading the way -- in life sciences. I salute Mr. Frazier for his efforts, and his execution -- diversity and inclusion is clearly good business. It may have taken us 50 years to establish this fact, but no one seriously disputes that it is a fact, any longer. So -- Kudos to Kenilworth.

Do go read the full 2015-16 report, but here is the bit that most interests me (given my long-prior efforts at another life-science company, and the successes we saw there):


Throughout 2015, we continued to invest in diversity-related training for our employees. Employees have access to diversity and inclusion programs, conferences, other activities, and professional development resources to ensure their and the company’s ongoing success.

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 the hidden biases we all possess and to mitigate unconscious bias in processes, practices and behaviors.

Micro-Inequities: We offer employees training options to reinforce our commitment to diversity and inclusion. One in particular, 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.

Executive Leadership Council (ELC): We support the ELC, an organization that provides recognition, executive seminars, peer coaching and leadership opportunities to help African American mid-career and senior-level executives with their personal and professional development.

Simmons Leadership Forum: We partner with Simmons to inspire and empower women executives. We recognize that developing the leadership potential of women executives and positioning them for success delivers a tangible competitive advantage for their organizations. In so doing, we send a strong signal to our employees that we regard developing, promoting and retaining female executives very seriously.

Women’s Sponsorship Program: The goal of the Women’s Sponsorship Program is to accelerate the movement and improve the readiness and visibility of high-potential women and women of color at our company so they can attain positions of greater leadership and responsibility. This two-year engagement between the sponsor and protégée is also intended to help build the network and personal brand of high-potential women leaders and to further their development and career. During 2015, 49 sponsor-protégée pairs were enrolled in the program; 67 percent were based in U.S. businesses; the remaining 33 percent were based in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Of those protégées in the U.S., 22 percent were women of color.

Women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Manufacturing Marketing): We hosted two Women in STEMM conferences, one in the United States and one in Prague for our women employees. The objectives of this conference were to:

Learn how to effectively enhance leadership skills Introduce tools and resources to help leadership skills support career aspirations Grow a network of colleagues across different divisions and functions Understand the value women leaders provide to the future of our company


We partner with organizations in both professional and academic settings to net the company a more diverse mix of capable talent. We also have several recruiting and outreach initiatives to seek and attract a diverse candidate pool.

Our initiative with the UNCF provides scholarship and fellowship support to outstanding African American undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students pursuing studies in biomedical research. Since the program’s inception in 1995, our company has committed nearly $50 million in support, awarding more than 700 scholarships. Students also serve as interns within our company’s research laboratories with our scientists serving as mentors.

We partner with Hiring Our Heroes, an organization that provides employment opportunities nationwide to veterans with disabilities. Through external media relations, the company is able to demonstrate that 80 percent of jobs in the private sector have a corresponding job in the military. Each branch of the military produces scientists, engineers, photographers and doctors, all of whom are aligned with our company’s needs. To build awareness of this opportunity, we developed a special podcast, promoted on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website, to address the benefits of hiring a veteran. Our ability to attract and retain military veterans as prospective employees was greatly enhanced through the podcast series.

In addition, our company recruits on higher-education campuses and, as part of its diversity-recruiting mission, visits institutions that have a history of serving African American and Latino students. We recognize these pools of talent to be a priority, and have allocated time and employee resources to focus on:

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): e.g., Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): e.g., University of Puerto Rico, Rutgers

Moreover, our company has strong relationships and partnerships with the following organizations to support talent development:

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD)
National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)
National Society for Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)
New Jersey National Society for Hispanic MBAs (NJNSHMBA)
Catalyst—the leading women’s research organization
Hispanic Alliance for Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
National Urban League (NUL)
National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE)
ASCEND—largest nonprofit organization for pan-Asian business professionals
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates—for LGBT business professionals
USBLN─United States Business Leadership Network─driving success through disability inclusion
Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) university chapters

Once on board, we utilize a comprehensive approach to ensure that all new employees have ample opportunities to network, build important stakeholder relationships, learn new skills, and hear the perspectives of the senior-most people in the company to broaden their insights and knowledge. We address workplace barriers to ensure full on-boarding for all employees.

One hundred percent of our Executive Committee members are mentors, helping and enabling other company employees to achieve their full potential. In addition, many employee business resource groups (EBRGs) have developed targeted mentoring for their constituents, recognizing that culture plays a role in how careers are furthered. Specifically, our Hispanos/Latino, LEAD (League of Employees of African Descent) and Women’s EBRG have formal mentoring programs. . . .

Now you know. Onward, as "we are all our brothers' and sisters' keepers" -- walking now -- on a perfect early fall morning. I'll offer a little sweet street singing video bonus (30 seconds -- entirely work safe), at right (from just yesterday afternoon), to put a bounce in your step -- her pipes are. . . unsurpassed!

With green-eyes a-glowing. . . .


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