How Takeda is Puts Diversity and Inclusion at the Heart of Its Strategy

The world-renowned pharmaceutical company Takeda is making diversity and inclusion (D&I) a core aspect of its business strategy - for good reasons.

Studies by research bodies like McKinsey & Company indicate that D&I initiatives deliver tangible business value to organisations that adopt them. These findings are recorded in a 2018 report titled “Delivering Through Diversity”, in which McKinsey observed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. In terms of ethnic and cultural diversity, this figure was 33 percent.

The implication is clear – a diverse and inclusive leadership provides greater opportunities for innovation and higher performance in financial returns. And as a leading business sector which touches the lives of everyone, the pharmaceutical and biotech industry should see D&I as an area where it’s perfectly placed as a globally dispersed but locally driven industry, to set new standards.

Why Diversity And Inclusion Matter

Products and services from the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries go out to consumers and patients across the globe, every day. Consumers in each region must receive these vital health supplies under the unique environmental and social conditions of their home nations - which might include socio-political factors affecting access or distribution, import restrictions, or physical hazards of various kinds.

For this reason alone, some measure of diversity and inclusion is essential, if pharmaceutical companies and others in the healthcare and biotech industries can realistically expect to do successful business in a global market. With the power to directly affect the lives of billions of people around the world on a daily basis, the pharmaceutical industry and its related sectors must - through diversity and inclusion - represent the populations that they serve.

But an even more compelling argument is this – Diversity and Inclusion are good for business. Companies are increasingly beginning to regard inclusion and diversity as a source of competitive advantage – and more specifically, as a key enabler of growth.

To gain the benefits associated with having people from diverse backgrounds and skill sets, companies must tailor their recruitment and retention practices to address the full spectrum of diverse talent. This extends to making firm commitments to fair and neutral recruitment, roles, and pay.

Takeda Pharmaceutical's Commitment To These Principles

In 1781, Chobei Takeda began selling traditional Japanese and Chinese herbal medicines in Doshomachi - the medicine district of Osaka, Japan. Following in this tradition, the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company was incorporated as a formal business entity in 1925, and has since held a reputation for business integrity, and quality products and services.

As a newly integrated company, Takeda has expanded its footprint to approximately 80 countries and regions, with over 30 languages and dialects spoken - a broad, global reach that provides great diversity to the organisation.

Employees worldwide get to vote in deciding which policies and collaborations Takeda pursues, through an Employee Participation Programme. Under this scheme, workers can connect directly with programmes in the field, visiting health clinics and getting first-hand information from patients and health workers on the front lines.

Putting Diversity And Inclusion Into Practice

By embracing the advantages that increased diversity has to offer, Takeda puts itself in the best possible position to represent its numerous patients around the globe.

Diversity and inclusion are qualities that are also proactively encouraged in the company’s day to day operation. As Padma Thiruvengadam, Takeda’s Chief Human Resources Officer, puts it: “Driven by our Values, we aim to create a purposeful, inclusive, and positive workplace for every Takeda employee. We are a dynamic, patient focused organisation where our people are empowered to shine and are given the tools to achieve their personal, professional goals.”

Takeda strives to maintain a diverse workforce in which every employee has the opportunity to thrive, develop, and grow based on merit, potential and ambition - regardless of gender, race, age, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Notably, the Takeda Executive Team is comprised of eleven different nationalities - and one in three of its members are female. Gender representation in the general workforce is near equal, with 53 percent male and 47 percent female. The proportion of global managerial positions held by women has grown to 37 percent.

The company is accelerating D&I activities in Japan and many other parts of the globe, with several initiatives aimed at building an inclusive environment that embraces all kinds of diversity. These include:

• Diverse recruiting initiatives and partnerships

• Cross-cultural awareness training and resources

• Flexible employee policies and programmes

• A Healthcare Business Women’s (HBA) mentorship programme

• Performance-based recognition and incentives

• Community outreach programmes

• Supplier diversity programmes

Final Thoughts

Takeda looks to pursue diversity and inclusion even further. As a research- and innovation-driven global company, the company will continue to work on its culture, and the ways in which its people work together and do business, to foster sustainable growth by maximising the potential offered by diverse employee perspectives and capabilities.

Diversity and Inclusion is set to be a hot topic set to be a hot topic at LogiPharma 2020, being held in April, at the Nice Acropolis, France. Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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