Dear valued partners and customers:
June 23, 2020
The unfortunate events of the past few months – COVID-19, a historic unemployment rate, and racial injustice resulting in the tragic loss of Black lives in the U.S. – have exposed a wound that Black people know all too well: systemic racial inequality.
We have spent the past few weeks listening to our employees, especially Black employees, as well as community leaders. It has been heartbreaking to hear stories of what amounts to the cumulative effects of racial inequalities and injustices experienced by Black people in the U.S., yet enlightening to witness the strength and determination to chart a more just path forward.
As a science-led, global healthcare company, we have a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, and live longer. Our purpose includes Black lives.
Our approach to philanthropy in the U.S. centers on addressing inequality in the communities where we live and work. Whether focused on improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, social determinants of health, or disaster preparedness, we have intentionally designed our giving programs to address inequity with the voice of the community as our guide.
In addition, we believe one of the biggest areas where we can impact racial inequality is by increasing access to healthcare for people of color. We are aware of historic and indeed current disparities in clinical trial participation, especially among minorities. We are committed to ensuring clinical trial participants are representative of the patient populations affected by the disease and that diversity serves as a key driver for the science of our products and as a key component of our company’s core values of transparency, integrity, patient focus, and respect for people.
We have implemented a number of best practices over the past few years to optimize our approach and we are committed to diverse representation in our planned SARS-CoV-2 vaccine trials, and indeed all our clinical trials.
It all starts with our people. One of our core values is respect and we aim to put inclusion and diversity at the heart of everything we do. By creating an environment where everyone’s voice is heard and each person is able to achieve their full potential, we believe we will perform better as a company.
Maintaining an inclusive environment, which reflects the diversity of the patients and customers we serve, takes focus. We are determined to fully unlock the potential available to us from the different knowledge, perspectives, experiences and working styles across our global population. Specialist development programs for high-potential diverse talent, senior leader sponsorship for inclusion and diversity, inclusion dialogues, diverse reverse mentoring, and numerous employee resource groups are just some of the ways we are committed to realizing this potential.
While we cannot change the past, we can ensure that our purpose puts a greater emphasis on Black lives, and enables equal opportunities for Black people to thrive. As we evolve, we look forward to keeping you updated on our next steps and progress.
Maya Martinez-Davis Toby Patterson, MD
President, US Pharmaceuticals SVP, US Medical Affairs
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