Diversity and Inclusion & Employee Engagement

 

 

We believe that innovation is fueled by diversity and an inclusive workplace empowers us to achieve better business results, work more effectively with our providers and suppliers and transform patient care.

 

 

 

 

Our approach to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

At Biogen, we believe it’s important to deploy an overarching D&I strategy that includes clear goals. To establish and progress this strategy, we rely on a cross-company governing body of employees known as the Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Council (DISC). In 2019 the DISC created a multi-year strategic focus that is centered on the following pillars:

  • Building inclusive talent systems fully aligned with the Inclusive Biogen Element
  • Creating a culture of ownership and accountability where “Everyone Owns D&I”
  • Driving health equity for underserved populations in the disease areas we treat


Our CEO Michel Vounatsos pledged to sign The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance D&I within the workplace. Biogen is taking the necessary steps in preparation to meet all pledge requirements in 2020.


We strongly believe that our diverse workforce helps us better understand the complex and varied needs of our patients.


As an increasing body of evidence demonstrates, gender parity at all levels is also critical to innovation. As of December 31, 2019, women held 46 percent of Biogen’s director-level and above positions and comprised over half of our global employee population at 52 percent. We’re continuing to support gender parity and mentor the next generation of female leaders through our Women’s Leadership Program, which cultivates high-potential, entrepreneurial women for leadership roles. We were proud to sponsor the Global Summit of Women in Geneva, Switzerland, where we sent a delegation of nearly 50 women female leaders, as well as the Massachusetts Conference for Women.

 

 

 

 

Moreover, as of April 1, 2019, 26 percent of Biogen’s director-level and above positions were held by ethnic or racial minorities. To continue to bolster our talent pipeline with a rich and diverse mix of leaders, we encourage high potential, mid-career, underrepresented minorities to participate in The Partnership Inc.’s BioDiversity Fellows Program, a program we helped create. In 2019 we had 10 employees participate in the Fellows Program, which is tailored to focus on underrepresented professionals in the life sciences industry. We also piloted a Black and Latinx Mentorship program, with 10 mentors and 10 mentees, to invest in the development of Black and Hispanic/Latinx colleagues at managerial levels and above. This program actively integrates mentoring as a part of our workplace culture as well as provides mentees the opportunity to meet with an external coach with expertise in promoting success for minority executives and professionals.


We are actively promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within the Venture Capital community and recently hosted a forum that marked the launch of a new Biotech VC Leadership Council. Biogen actively seeks to address the stark financial disparities that currently exist in the Venture Capital industry, particularly for women and minority women, who receive disproportionately less money. Biogen partnered with the New England Venture Capital Association and Third Rock Ventures to address financial disparities and to create a Leadership Council with the goal of advancing diversity and inclusion in the Venture Capital community.


In 2019 we were proud to host our first Intersectionality Conference in Cambridge. The Conference focused on the concept of intersectionality, defined as “the interconnected nature of our various identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and more. The overlap of these various identities shapes our life experiences.” The conference provided a platform for colleagues to share their personal experiences and perspectives on intersectionality, and how Biogen can seek to understand others’ experiences through empathy and awareness. Our aim is for intersectionality to become woven into Biogen’s DNA, with our employees feeling confident to bring their whole selves to work every day.


At Biogen we are committed to employing people with disabilities, with the hopes of breaking down barriers and leveraging inclusion to drive positive behavioral and cultural change. We scored 100 percent on the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI) for the second year in a row and are one of the DEI Best Places to Work for the third consecutive year, reinforcing our status as one of America’s best places to work for disability inclusion. For the seventh consecutive year, we’ve been recognized as the ‘Best Place to Work’ for LGBTQ Equality in the U.S. by the Human Rights Campaign, scoring 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2019 Corporate Equity Index. Additionally, Advance Switzerland recognized us in its 2019 Gender Intelligence Report.


Just as promoting equity and equality within our own workforce is a priority, we are committed to addressing disparities and inequities that exist within the patient populations for whom we seek to develop therapies. Learn more about our approach to Health Equity.

 

 

 

 

Employee Engagement

Our employee resources

Our Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) provide invaluable opportunities for employees to share knowledge and build connections. Allies, supporters and all those interested in helping to advance inclusion are welcome to join any ERN. In 2019 membership in these groups increased, by more than 30 percent from the previous year.

Our current ERNs include:

  • IGNITE: Brings together early-career professionals and their advocates (launched in 2019)
  • AccessAbility: Supports employees with disabilities and employees who are caretakers of individuals with disabilities
  • Biogen Veterans Network (BVN): Encourages veterans and allies of veterans to connect and support one another
  • Mosaic: Fosters awareness and appreciation of different cultural backgrounds, in addition to promoting networking and development opportunities for members
  • ReachOUT: Supports a best-in-class working environment for LGBTQ employees and embraces all LGBTQ employees and their allies
  • Women’s Innovation Network (WIN): Creates networking, mentoring and learning opportunities for women and allies worldwide

 

 


 

 

Employee and family solutions

At Biogen, we view our people as our most important asset. We aim to provide all employees around the globe with consistent and convenient access to a robust set of resources to help them improve and sustain all phases of their well-being. To this end, we introduced “Employee and Family Solutions,” a new global employee assistance program that offers legal services, financial consultations, behavioral health care and child and elder care referral services. Employee and Family Solutions is available to all employees and family members around the world, and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


In caring deeply about the health and wellbeing of our employees, we understand their needs to effectively manage personal and professional responsibilities. We have various programs in place to ensure a culture that embraces trust and flexibility.


Our Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) include:

  • Telecommuting: A work arrangement that allows for employees to regularly work at home or at an approved alternative worksite up to three days per week
  • Flextime: A work schedule with variable starting and ending times, within limits. Employees still work their standard number of hours per week
  • Part-time: A less than full-time schedule, receiving a pro-rated salary and benefits
  • Job Share: Two part-time employees share responsibilities of a full-time position, each receiving pro-rated salary and benefits

Our maternity and parental leave policy supports parent bond with their newborns or adopted child. Biogen provides paid maternity leave benefits including 100% of base pay for up to 12 weeks and four weeks of paid time off from work after the birth or adoption of a new child for mothers and fathers.

 

 


 

 

Employee sabbaticals

We strive to create an environment where our employees can flourish, both in and out of the office. Our employee sabbatical program is an opportunity for those who have been with us for at least six years to participate in a paid sabbatical. Since the program’s launch in 2014, nearly 3,000 employees have participated, using this unique opportunity to give back to their communities, travel, spend time with family and so much more.

 

 


 

 

Employee surveys

In 2019 we implemented a new, modern employee survey program to more effectively pulse employees through email and mobile apps as well as provide an opportunity for richer commentary and facilitate feedback to questions. We care deeply about employee feedback and are building an analytics community across HR to bring more rigor and sophistication to the collection and analysis of employee opinions. We use their perspectives to guide us to take actions that improve engagement and support, maintaining Biogen’s reputation as a great place to work for all of our employees. Through the more sophisticated platform, survey participation reached almost 75 percent, helping us better understand overall engagement and shape the direction of culture.


Learn more about our D&I approach and our current networks at Diversity & Inclusion.