Regeneron Perspectives

Paving the Way for a Better Workplace, Better Science, and a Better World

Smita Pillai, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer December 21, 2021

When I joined Regeneron in early 2021 as the company’s first Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Officer, I knew I was joining an organization with strong values, high intellect, and innovation at the core of its existence. These key attributes have helped it become one of the fastest growing biotech companies in the world. What I have since experienced firsthand is the tremendous sense of mission you feel in every corner of the organization. It’s more than a desire. It’s a real passion. It’s a drive to take on the big problems that need solving in our world and a commitment to lead through action.

Events over the last few years have brought systemic racism and inequity to the forefront of global consciousness, sparking conversation and, more importantly, action.

The need for action is particularly acute in healthcare, where the disparities are huge. Case in point: only 5-15 percent of people who participate in U.S. clinical trials are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), while these communities make up close to 24 percent of the U.S. population.1 Further evidence is that in 24 of the 31 clinical trials for cancer drugs approved since 2015, fewer than 5 percent of participants were Black; even though Black Americans have the highest mortality rate for all cancers combined compared with any other racial or ethnic group.2

Our industry also continues to struggle with representation. STEM occupations are projected to grow more than 10 percent between now and 2030. Yet, this growth is not evenly distributed. While the global workforce is unapologetically intersectional and multidimensional, in the U.S., Black and Hispanic talent is glaringly under-represented in the STEM fields.

I joined Regeneron to make a difference.

During my first few months with the company, I met with thousands of colleagues across all levels. I actively listened and I learned. Although headquartered in New York, we have more than 100 countries represented in our workforce. This diversity brought forward a myriad of perspectives and generated ideas of ways we could make a greater difference together — using our passion and strength as a company to make a much larger impact in the DEI space.

Together, we developed a strategic DEI vision focused on a simple truth—we can and will do better. As an employer, a global leader in science, and a citizen of this world, Regeneron will lead through these actions:

Better WorkplaceWe will be a place where you can be yourself and succeed. We believe bringing together people with diverse perspectives leads to the best ideas. We will hire, develop, and advance people with unique perspectives and experiences to become a better company.

Better ScienceWe will advance medicine for all. We believe that diversity drives scientific advances and better healthcare. We will pursue inclusive science and technology that supports under-represented populations, reduce implicit bias in research and development, diversify clinical trials, support patients through programs and education, and increase access to quality care.

Regeneron is committed to having a better workplace, better science, and a better world

Better WorldWe will use our voice and influence for good. We will help improve the lives of under-represented groups, invest where we can make a meaningful difference, and engage and inspire future generations. Through our corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, we will continue to be an active and engaged member of our communities, magnifying the voices of under-represented students, talent, stakeholders, and patients.

At Regeneron, we are driven by a strong sense of purpose. Our work in DEI is core to who we are and the company we are continuously becoming. Being mindful of intersectional experiences and identities, providing a platform for under-represented and underserved voices, and fostering inclusion and belonging is what DEI means for us – and it’s a business imperative. We cannot meet our mission without it. I’m so proud to be a part of this team—10,000+ colleagues strong—working together to create a Better Workplace, Better Science, and a Better World!

  1. United States Census Bureau, “U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts – population estimates from July 2019”
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Cancer and African Americans – The Office of Minority Health – 2019
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