We believe the diversity of our employees leads to better teamwork and collaboration, fosters a climate of respect and trust, increases our global relevance and helps to drive our business success. In 2011, we undertook a strategic review of our current practices and developed recommendations for making diversity and inclusion a more integral part of our culture of excellence. As a result of this assessment, we are launching specific efforts focused on women.
Approximately half of Biogen Idec employees are female; however, women are underrepresented in leadership positions at the director level and above. We believe that development programs focused on improving the representation of women in leadership will not only help Biogen Idec attract, retain and engage female talent, but also allow us to better serve our female patients through new product and service innovations.
Women’s Innovation Network
To better support the development of women in our workforce, we launched the Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) in 2011. WIN, which is overseen by a special steering committee and executive sponsors, includes the following components:
- Quarterly networking events open to all employees to celebrate women’s contributions to innovation at Biogen Idec.
- The creation of WIN chapters at all major Biogen Idec offices worldwide to develop and host educational and networking opportunities focused on issues important to women at Biogen Idec.
- Partnerships with leading women's professional organizations relevant to our industry, such as the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA). In 2011, we committed to sponsor the 2012 mentoring program run by the Boston, Mass. chapter of HBA, thus increasing accessibility and awareness of such programs to Biogen Idec employees.
- The WIN steering committee will advise Biogen Idec's Leadership Development organization on developing and piloting a sponsorship program in which Biogen executives will serve as champions for high-potential female employees at the mid-career level.
In 2011, we also created a specific diversity and inclusion function in our human resources department and are now creating a Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Council that will focus on integrating diversity and inclusion principles throughout our company.