A Message to Biogen Employees Around the World

Our CEO, Michel Vounatsos, sent this letter to all 7,700 employees on June 1, 2020.

 


Dear Biogen Colleagues,

Following recent tragedies of racial injustice in the United States, including the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, we are all painfully reminded again of the divisions and inequities that persist within our communities.

During this time of great sadness and frustration, our company must continue to be guided by our Cultural Elements, especially “In,” our commitment to inclusion and ethics. Biogen is built on and committed to the power of diversity – in our organization and among our patients and customers. Diversity is an essential asset of complementary strengths and perspectives from which all benefit, and which must unite us, not divide us. But let me be clear: prejudice, racism, and intolerance are unacceptable and continue to have no place at Biogen.

Over the past few days we have heard from many of our colleagues about their feelings and personal experiences related to these recent examples of racial injustice. We recognize that many of you are afraid, angry, hurt, and confused. In addition, the ability to connect and process these feelings is made more difficult due to the isolation we feel as a result of COVID-19.

Silence will not move us forward. We believe that everyone in our company and community should be safe, be seen and have a voice that is respected. I encourage all of us to listen to each other and engage in an open and inclusive dialogue and especially to support and learn from those of us who experience inequality as part of daily life. We know these conversations can be difficult and uncomfortable; Chirfi and Ginger, as our DISC (Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Council) Co-chairs, will be sending out more information with helpful resource tools in this regard.  

For those personally affected, we are here to support you and we are committed to doing our part as a company to help advance meaningful change. This starts with initiatives such as health equity and fostering diversity and inclusion across all that we do, but we won’t stop there. We will continue to work toward listening, creating awareness, and making an impact in the communities that we serve as an organization.

As you know, Biogen’s credo is Caring Deeply. Working Fearlessly. Changing Lives. This extends to being a positive force for change and not just when the headlines make injustice impossible to ignore. I am committed to representing Biogen in the business community to acknowledge what African American and Black people and other victims of racial injustice are facing, and actively working to reduce bias in our workplaces and build inclusive communities. Our commitment to equality and justice defines us as an organization and we must remain steadfast to these values always.

 

Michel Vounatsos

Chief Executive Officer

Biogen