Genentech announced a plan to double the number of Black and Latinx officers and directors by 2025. It also committed to spending $1 billion with diverse suppliers. The biotech firm launched the formalized strategic plan in response to a survey which found that one in three people in marginalized communities avoid participating in clinical trials, reject testing and shun vaccines because they do not trust the industry.
Vice-president and Chief Diversity Officer Quita Highsmith called the findings unacceptable and said bridges must be built to make patients feel valued, respected and understood. She explains that health equity cannot be achieved if patients do not believe in the healthcare system. The company’s plan will focus on encouraging belonging, addressing health inequity and reaching out to diverse communities.
Genentech knows that concerted diversity efforts work. Its 10-year gender diversity initiative resulted in a 19% increase in the representation of women in leadership roles. Its gender pay equity practices were also successful. Women employees make 99.6 cents and employees of color earn 99.5 cents for every dollar that men earn.