Today, PhRMA released a new report prepared by TEConomy Partners, LLC that provides insights into the efforts of biopharmaceutical companies to advance diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, in the communities in which they operate and in the patient communities in which they serve. The report examines the state of accelerating demographic changes and persistent workforce disparities both broadly in corporate America and within the biopharmaceutical industry. The report compiles insights into how the biopharmaceutical industry is increasing opportunities and addressing workplace disparities for underrepresented and underserved populations.
The findings in this report are informed by a survey of PhRMA member companies to understand the depth and breadth of efforts and commitments to advance D&I initiatives throughout the workplace.
Results show that companies are working to increase opportunities for underrepresented populations and address disparities, including:
- 78% of companies set goals and track efforts to encourage health equity and clinical trial diversity.
- 78% utilize a cross-functional diversity council.
- 89% of companies conduct D&I trainings for all levels across the organization.
- 89% have strategies in place to collaborate with external partners to build a diverse talent pipeline.
- Nearly all offered support for employee resource groups.
The report also finds that PhRMA members are advancing diversity and inclusion on several essential fronts that extend well beyond a company’s doors and into their local communities and broader networks. The focus for these broader D&I goals include:
- Enhancing the diversity of clinical trials populations, which goes along with recently adopted industry-wide clinical trial principles.
- Investing in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Addressing disparities in health and treatment.
- Increasing diversity in the industry’s supply chain.
- Committing to drive systemic change in communities throughout the country, including supporting efforts to inspire and advance tomorrow’s STEM workforce.
As an innovation-driven industry, we recognize that building an inclusive work environment with multiple dimensions of diversity is essential. In fact, one recent study found that companies with more diverse management teams reported considerably higher levels of innovation compared to less diverse teams. This is particularly important to R&D intensive industries, such as the biopharmaceutical industry, which aim to maintain global leadership in the research and development of innovative solutions for complex health challenges.
The events of 2020 have underscored the stark reality that diversity and inclusion issues have far-reaching effects on the health and well-being of all Americans. In the last several months, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted underserved communities due to longstanding inequities in our health care systems and broader systems of governance. It is clear there is work to be done and documenting and sharing best practices is an essential first step. The biopharmaceutical industry is increasing opportunities for underrepresented and underserved populations because we recognize the benefit diversity brings to our businesses, employees, and society as a whole. This report is just part of advancing this work and our commitment to enhancing D&I within and across our organizations and external stakeholders.
For more information about PhRMA member companies’ efforts to advance D&I, please read our new report, The Biopharmaceutical Industry: Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in the Workforce and visit phrma.org/equity.
Abigail Lore Abigail Lore, MPA, is Director of Policy and Research at PhRMA. At PhRMA she is responsible for developing educational materials and research studies on a range of issues impacting innovative biopharmaceutical companies including FDA policy issues, the R&D process, and emerging technologies such as digital health tools and cell and gene therapies. Before joining PhRMA in 2019, she worked at a patient advocacy organization as a project manager. Abigail came to Washington, DC via New Hampshire to attend American University, and fell in love with the city including the running and biking trails, endless restaurants to try and the DC sports teams. Abigail has seen the first hand benefits of biopharmaceutical research and is passionate about advocating for a strong STEM workforce as well as the patients they work to help.