Long before diversity and inclusion became corporate table stakes, Johnson & Johnson worked tirelessly to make it intrinsic to its culture. And it didn't even start in this century. It began in 1886, when three brothers were inspired to solve a universal need: provide first-aid bandages for wounds suffered by everyday people, regardless of background.
J&J's purpose-driven mission remains constant. Today, the company continues to serve as a leader in diversity and inclusion, leveraging its award-winning D&I strategies for both social impact and corporate performance.
Donna Wilson, head of D&I multicultural marketing, shared how J&J has effectively integrated multicultural strategies with brand imperatives to deliver impressive outcomes for global brands across J&J's businesses. She underscored how the D&I mission was developed using a customer-centric and data-driven approach by tapping into voice-of-employee insights, using a global survey across 7,000 J&J employees.
Wilson also shared results of J&J's recently released study You Belong: Diversity & Inclusion Impact Review, which captures the company's commitment to its D&I mission:
The connectivity and acceleration points across these areas are “something our businesses have been asking for,” Wilson said. “Our teams want to shape and share D&I successes and see how culture and people drive results.”
One example of how J&J fosters a culture of inclusion and innovation is its 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which empower the 20,000 employees who participate to help each other build relationships, reach their potential, and share valuable customer insights. The ERGs also serve as “internal focus groups,” Wilson said, allowing the company's brand teams to capture user insights in an agile way.
Another is the company's D&I Honors Program, which recognizes teams that not only advocate for D&I, but also use it to drive innovation and business results. These winning teams have become role models at J&J.
Additionally, more than 105,000 J&J employees have received unconscious bias training, which helps the company build a base for the successes showcased in programs such as D&I Honors, that link D&I with business outcomes.
Here are five important ways J&J has strategically integrated D&I into business strategies to drive performance:
Johnson & Johnson's multifaceted approach to D&I provides a comprehensive blueprint of what success looks like. The challenge for any company embracing D&I is maintaining momentum, so remember founder Robert Wood Johnson's energizing words, “It's a go!”, as he rallied and inspired his first fourteen employees — eight of which were women. That inspiration remains alive and flourishing today, as belonging, purpose, and representation continue to be fundamental to J&J's corporate DNA.
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