Improving Diversity Hiring Trends in the Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sectors
3 Pages
English
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Improving Diversity Hiring Trends in the Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sectors

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3 Pages
English

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Improving Diversity Hiring Trends in the Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical Sectors The expansion of minority group definitions to include disability status, sexual orientation, sexual identity, military status, and religious affiliation has opened new opportunities to increase diversity across a broad range of employment sectors. In the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors, we are now witnessing a concerted effort to seek out and attract minority candidates for both entry-level and professional positions. A greater emphasis is now being placed on treating all workers as people first, noting the contributions they can make to life sciences and pharmaceuticals based on a combination of education, training, and life experiences. We would do well to continue the pursuit of diversity for as long as it takes to achieve a workforce that accurately reflects the general make-up of society. However, it will not come easy. The ongoing pursuit of diversity requires a continued commitment among a long list of stakeholders who are ultimately responsible for the decision making process. Gradually Making Headway Proof that life sciences and pharmaceuticals are making headway in the diversity arena can be found in the 2015 Corporate Equality Index report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

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Published 14 October 2015
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Improving Diversity Hiring Trends in the Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical Sectors The expansion of minority group definitions to include disability status, sexual orientation, sexual identity, military status, and religious affiliation has opened new opportunities to increase diversity across a broad range of employment sectors. In the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors, we are now witnessing a concerted effort to seek out and attract minority candidates for both entry-level and professional positions.
A greater emphasis is now being placed on treating all workers as people first, noting the contributions they can make to life sciences and pharmaceuticals based on a combination of education, training, and life experiences. We would do well to continue the pursuit of diversity for as long as it takes to achieve a workforce that accurately reflects the general make-up of society. However, it will not come easy. The ongoing pursuit of diversity requires a continued commitment among a long list of stakeholders who are ultimately responsible for the decision making process. Gradually Making Headway Proof that life sciences and pharmaceuticals are making headway in the diversity arena can be found in the 2015 Corporate Equality Index report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). This annual HRC report tracks how corporate America is responding to the diversity needs of the American workforce, particularly as they relate to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. The report scores various employment sectors based on a 100-point system that considers a full range of topics including hiring practices, anti-discrimination policies, employee benefits, and day-to-day business practices relating to employee support and engagement. In the initial 2002 report, not a single life sciences or pharmaceutical company achieved a 100% score. In 2015, 10% of the participating companies achieved a perfect score. While there is still a long way to go, a ten-fold increase over the last decade demonstrates that Big Pharma and life sciences are gradually making headway. As a side note, 12% of the rest of the healthcare sector achieved a perfect rating for 2015.
Trade Groups and Professional Organizations The HRC's annual report based on its Corporate Equality Index certification program is just one component in an expanding arena of opportunities to increase diversity in pharmaceuticals and life sciences. We are also seeing an increase in the number of trade and professional organizations representing various minorities. For example, the National Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Association (NBPA) is an industry organization established to promote the inclusion of African-Americans and blacks in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. The NBPA Đonsiders itself a ͞ĐatalLJst for ďlaĐk edžĐellenĐe in the life sĐienĐes͟, aĐĐording to the organization’swebsite. The NBPA's vision is one of advocating on behalf of African-Americans and other blacks as they seek to enter the biotech or pharmaceutical fields, providing them a voice and support system. Their 900 members include executives, policy makers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. How Companies Can Participate Life sciences and pharmaceutical companies have every reason to participate in the drive toward diversity inasmuch as a more diverse workforce adds value by introducing a whole new set of perspectives and values to an otherwise stagnant corporate culture. A workforce that more accurately represents the total population is a workforce more capable of collectively meeting the needs of the customers they serve. To that end, there are steps companies can take to participate in the diversity push that go above and beyond adding the right words and phrases to job listings. These include: Anti-Discrimination PoliciesEvery life sciences and pharmaceutical company should already have anti-discrimination policies in place. However, those policies must be reviewed in order to make sure all minority groups are represented. Where modifications are needed to bring policies in line with current diversity standards, such modification should be made immediately. Corporate SupportExecutive management can begin looking at ways to specifically support minority groups within the corporate environment. For example, where a company may offer vouchers to help pay for employee childcare needs, they may also be able to help provide counseling services for workers struggling with gender identity issues. Employee EducationOne of the most powerful tools corporate America has to work with is that of education. Company-sponsored programs aimed at educating workers about diversity can ease any perceived workplace tensions and open up new avenues of understanding. Hiring PracticesLastly, companies need to redefine hiring practices in a way that purposefully commits to recruiting and hiring without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, disability status, military status, or religious affiliation. Recruiting and hiring must be focused only on a candidate's ability to do the job at hand. It must be noted that all of the steps can, and should, be undertaken under the umbrella of the team mentality. In other words, the push toward diversity will only be successful if the results of diversity create a workforce capable of functioning as a team rather than as various groups of minorities all looking out for their best interests. Therein lies the danger of diversity. Diversity in life sciences and pharmaceuticals is undoubtedly good. Nevertheless, if it becomes the end goal separate from the greater goal of advancing the biotech and pharma industries, diversity could collapse under the weight of its own divisiveness. The result must be a solid team approach with no labels if a diverse workforce is to succeed.
PharmaDiversity Job Board ThePharmaDiversity Job Board(www.PharmaDiversity.com) exists to help minority candidates find and pursue the jobs of their choice in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare in general. Our vision and mission is one that includes connecting job seekers to recruiters and employers without regard to any factor outside the scope of job performance. We are committed to working with organizations with established non-discrimination policies as well. The life sciences and pharmaceutical industries are making headway toward a more diverse workplace. Nonetheless, we must not stop and rest based on the successes of the past. We must continue moving forward until full diversity is realized. The PharmaDiversity Job Board is committed to doing just that. Sources: 1.HRCitbswe3-.stsseas-crh//:ptth-510.verfdpoc/denum/Cts-2EInowa.soc/mf/lisee-us-east-1.amaz 2.NBPAhttp://nbpalink.org/