AN INTERVIEW WITH MIKE GLADSTONE, GLOBAL PRESIDENT, INTERNAL MEDICINE, PFIZER
Why was it critical for your organization to be involved in the Gender Parity Collaborative?
At Pfizer, we believe that unleashing the power and potential of a diverse and highly engaged workforce is critical to achieving our purpose – breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. That’s why we have doubled down on our commitment to becoming a leader across our industry in gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Participating in the Collaborative enables us to learn from our industry peers, share best practices and build critical support for the systemic changes that need to happen if we’re going to truly achieve gender parity as an industry.
Of what current company gender parity initiative are you most proud?
I’m really proud of a recent initiative we just launched, which I believe is a first in our industry. Our company recently conducted a global pay equity study, and the good news is that we were able to confirm that we are paying all colleagues equitably. We also looked at what we are calling ‘opportunity parity’. In other words, do all our colleagues have the same chance to develop and succeed? We found that we still have important work to do and so we set ambitious goals to increase the representation of women and minorities in leadership roles by 2025. Our hope is that if we can help all our people reach their full potential, do their best work and be their best selves, then we will be able to help more patients around the world who depend on us.
As one of your organization’s leaders, why are you personally committed to advancing gender parity in the workplace?
As a global president overseeing a $9 billion business with nearly 8,000 colleagues, I can tell you first-hand how important gender parity is to our success. I can think of several examples where the addition of a female point of view has made the difference between a good decision and a great one. For example, one of our most successful creative campaigns for Viagra – a medicine for men – was the result of a key insight from female team members. As women are key advisors in their families’ healthcare decisions, it was important that our campaign was not just targeted toward men. By encouraging a diversity of perspectives, we challenge ourselves to think bigger and differently, and in my opinion, this almost always results in a better product.
What makes this consortium unique compared to other initiatives/investments happening in your own organization?
It allows us the opportunity to accelerate our progress internally because we get to understand, deeply and intimately, what’s worked well (and not so well) elsewhere. There’s a high level of respect and trust amongst the Collaborative members.
How does your participation in the Collaborative complement what you are already doing?
The Collaborative’s focus areas are very much aligned with what we are trying to do internally at Pfizer. We recently refreshed our core values, and one of the four values is equity. To achieve equity, we need to ensure that all colleagues have the same opportunities to grow, develop, succeed and earn. We recently set ambitious goals for increasing the representation of women and U.S. minorities at the VP level and above. We are building internal and external talent pools, partnering with organizations and developing comprehensive plans to attract and retain diverse talent to be even more reflective of the patients we serve.
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