Diversity Helps Lilly Achieve Our Mission

Lilly leaders on diversity.

Earlier today, Lilly's Chairman, President, and CEO, John Lechleiter, Ph.D. provided the opening remarks to the 2012 African American Forum. The event's theme, "Change: Engage, Evolve, Expand and Succeed!" provided an apt opportunity to discuss how diversity helps Lilly achieve our mission to improve patient outcomes. 

As Lechleiter emphasized, diversity exists beyond just internal messaging. Instead, diversity plays a role in every aspect of life at Lilly: 

  • Clinical Trials--Since 2008, Lilly has expanded nearly 300 new clinical trials with significant minority populations, leading the industry in enhancing clinical trial diversity and reducing health disparities. 
  • Products--Advances in targeted therapeutics improve the ability to identify patients most likely to respond to a therapy, improving confidence among patients, providers, and payers that patients will benefit from a medicine.
  • Consumers--Company initiatives, like Lilly Diabetes' FACE (Fearless African Americans Connected and Empowered) initiative, and advocacy partnerships with organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists work to help address health disparities in minority communities.
  • And, of course, Employees--Lilly has worked hard to achieve real gains on diversity and inclusion goals. This year, Diversity Inc. ranked Eli Lilly & Company #29 on their list of 'Top 50 Companies for Diversity,' a 10 spot jump from just last year. Recognized Lilly initiatives included mentoring programs, workplace flexibility, succession planning for women, and employee resource groups.

Diverse perspectives are of critical importance to the problem-solving and creativity necessary for true innovation. Success as a company, therefore, requires continued efforts to maintain and expand the positive strides we've made in diversity and inclusion. As Dr. Lechleiter said, "We benefit when we not only hire diverse individuals, partner with diverse enterprises, and better serve our diverse customers, but when we maximize these opportunities by actively seeking to learn from and be enriched by opportunities that an increasingly diverse landscape offers us."