When racial injustices as chilling as George Floyd’s murder and the shootings of Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and many others happen, it’s impossible to sweep them under the rug and move on. Over the past few months, I’ve had several conversations with friends, colleagues and family members who have shared their own encounters with racism. I’m sad to say these stories, while heartbreaking, were not surprising given my own experiences as a Black woman, a child of immigrants and a mother to two boys of color. At the same time, as a member of a tight-knit, diverse extended family comprised of people from different identities, countries, religions and political backgrounds, I think we can do better.
This belief that we can do better is one of the many reasons I expanded my current role as VP, Government Affairs & Public Policy to also serve as the Interim Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) at Regeneron. Our mission is to bring new medicines to people with serious diseases – and diversity is crucial to driving the innovation needed to make this happen. I am motivated to take on this role and work alongside colleagues to combat social inequities and foster a culture of inclusion for everyone at Regeneron, irrespective of identity or political persuasion. With our shared ethos of ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’ and our innovative spirit, I believe we can make a meaningful difference.
In discussing my new responsibilities with other leaders, we recognized it was important to follow the Regeneron way and lead with science by first gathering some baseline data. To start, we launched Listen & Learn sessions with leaders and colleagues across the organization and analyzed key metrics. Based on this, we have identified three strategic imperatives to advance and accelerate our DE&I efforts, focusing on fostering a culture of inclusion, increasing diverse representation and building equitable communities. These imperatives will better position Regeneron to achieve our 2025 goal, announced in April 2020, to increase diverse representation in leadership and foster inclusion.
Here are just a few of the actions we have taken this year to build on our strong foundation of DE&I initiatives:
Foster a culture of inclusion
- Appointed Interim Head of DE&I and launched our search for permanent head of DE&I
- Established a cross-functional DE&I Leadership Council to drive and embed our DE&I strategy
- Rolled out mandatory inclusion trainings for senior management
- Launched our new Black Employee Resource Group as part of our wider network of employee-led advocacy and interest groups
- Provided colleagues with anti-racism resources to build awareness and understanding
Increase diverse representation
- Hired additional minority-focused recruiting firms to help attract diverse talent
- Introduced new initiatives to support diversity recruiting, including partnering with diversity-focused student organizations during the Fall recruiting season
- Began using a technology platform that helps to avoid any language in job descriptions that could inadvertently lead to potential gender bias
Build equitable communities
- Continued to contribute more than $3.1M annually to support STEM outreach and equity programs for students underrepresented in the sciences
- Launched a $750,000 double matching gift campaign to support racial equality and social justice causes
- Accelerated efforts to increase diversity in clinical trials, including establishing a Global Development leadership task force focused on this issue
While I may be serving in an interim role, this is not an interim commitment. I will work closely with the permanent Head of DE&I to help them navigate the new role and make sure they are positioned for success. No matter my title, I’m dedicated to ensuring Regeneron is a great and inclusive place for all.