Women in the Workplace: A Culture of Inclusion



Today’s guest post comes from Monique Hunt McWilliams, Eli Lilly and Company’s Chief Diversity officer.


In the quest for innovation, not a single person or talent can be wasted. Creating a talented and diverse workforce is vital to the success of our company and to our ability to deliver the best medicines to the people who need them most. In order to achieve this goal, we strive to create a culture of inclusion, where each and every employee feels comfortable, valued, and respected. Championing the skilled female workforce within Lilly represents a critical part of this mission.

Through the years we have been blessed to have dedicated employees who have worked to shape Lilly’s culture. Women have been a central part of our work at Eli Lilly and Company since Colonel Eli Lilly opened the doors of his small manufacturing facility in 1876.  In fact, one of the first ever Lilly employees was bottler and finisher, Caroline Kruger.  Building a culture of inclusion has been part of our company’s heritage since the start, but the mission is not over. 

Over the years, we’ve made it our goal to continually improve and enhance our diversity programs and opportunities. Programs such as the female leadership diversity strategy prove critical to building strong female leaders, and an engaged female workforce around the world.  As a result, we have built a tremendous female workforce, and have benefitted from the women who hold 36% of Lilly’s manager and executive positions, as well as one-third of our Board of Directors positions.

Our recognition in the area of workforce diversity - from the National Association of Female Executives naming Lilly a Top 50 Company for Executive Women; to being named one of the 50 Leading Companies for Women in APEC; to a 20th straight year appearing on Working Mothers Magazine’s  100 Best Companies List – highlighted our global commitment to empowering our workforce. Whether it is through the Taxicab Safety Initiative in India, or workplace flexibility and flexible scheduling for all global affiliates, Lilly continues to dedicate itself to the development of policies that serve to support the career ambitions of our employees.

Companies can only succeed when they commit themselves to the success of their employees. At Lilly, we have sought to do exactly that. The women at Lilly provide strong and valuable leadership to our company, and their achievements are a testament to what can be accomplished when companies strive to recognize the immense talent within their female workforce.