Melanie Duncan, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer at Inizio, explores the importance of diverse workforce, for a diverse world.
The globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, growth of biosimilar and generic segments and a surge in innovation has heightened market competition across the world. To thrive in such an environment, companies need to be creative and nimble to innovate and maximise performance.
To achieve this for our clients, we need teams capable of more than just delivering high quality work. We need employees with the knowledge and ingenuity to identify new opportunities and reinvent processes to help them achieve their goals.
Therefore, it is critical to attract and retain passionate and imaginative people for the long haul, and a pivotal part of this is our approach to diversity in the workplace.
Diverse people, diverse perspectives
Better representation in your team of people from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds and different genders and sexual orientations is crucial to achieving this. It can ensure your company benefits from the unique insights and perspectives that can only come from individuals’ lived experiences, helping you to create better treatments, design and deliver better care, or find more effective ways to engage with vulnerable patients. More importantly, it is key to drawing the best talent and retaining it for the long term.
Employees today expect diversity on all fronts — of people, technology, workspace and wellness. It’s important to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable and valued — only then will companies attract, retain, motivate and empower the best people.
Creating the right environment
But how to achieve this goal? Here are our top tips for creating the right environment for diversity to thrive.
1. Lead from the top
The senior leadership drives the company culture, and their passions are shared by the rest of the business. Having buy-in from senior stakeholders is crucial to the success of any diversity initiative over the long term. Employing people in the business who dedicated to working on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can support the leadership in driving cultural change across the business.
2. Live diversity in every aspect of your business
The use of gender pronouns in the workplace, including in email signatures, for example, is a small but important step to creating a more open working environment and is an important part of LGBTQ+ inclusion. Ensuring your interactions on your company’s social media channels reflect your diversity commitments is also vital to demonstrate to the wider world your business’s values.
3. Give everyone a voice
Initiatives are not tick-box exercises, and they must resonate with teams. Regularly invite team members to share their views, whether through employee surveys or townhall meetings. Above all, make sure you act on their concerns in a meaningful way so they can see they are being listened to.
4. Communication is key
It is vital to communicate the impact of what you do across the organization. The more you communicate, the more you will build a sense of safety among employees and embed DEI into the culture of an organization.
5. Be brave and bold
Finally, fostering an inclusive environment takes time and effort from everyone in an organization and it can only be the result of a conscious decision to be more inclusive.
A diverse industry needs a diverse workforce and that is why it is crucial for pharmaceutical companies to place DEI firmly on their agendas. This is something that we at Inizio are fully committed to delivering within our own business, while also supporting clients and partners to achieve the same in their own operations.
Small steps towards a more inclusive culture, from changes to recruitment, to measures to make the workplace more open and welcoming, can transform employee morale for the better, improving productivity in turn. In doing so, a commitment to diversity can go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal as an industry – delivering better therapies and better healthcare outcomes for patients.