Conference Schedule

Many organizations have high hopes to make DEI a priority, but it is challenging to know where to begin. Building a strong diversity program is about building DEI into everything you do. In this panel we will discuss:

  • Build organizational capabilities
  • Overcome visible versus invisible obstacles
  • Foster senior leadership to embrace change
  • Achieve more than just numbers
  • Take a long-term strategic approach

DE&I initiatives are no longer the sole responsibility of the HR team—every department within the organization should play a role in building an inclusive organization. Department managers, marketing, communications, drug development, and clinical trials teams all have important roles to play to ensure DE&I across the organization.

  • Examine the role marketing and communications play in achieving DE&I internally and externally
  • Discuss tools and strategies to eliminate bias
  • Explain how to ensure more DE&I in clinical trials and drug development
  • Learn how managers can help in career advancements for minorities

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices not only encourage a sense of belonging, support and collaboration at companies, but it can also drive better results for the company and the stakeholders they serve. To build an organization filled with passionate, talented people who share these values it starts with making DE&I a part of the hiring and selection process. At Tarsus, we believe that DE&I should be engrained into every part of the company from recruitment strategy and employee training to educational resources and events. Tarsus has more than doubled its number of employees over the past year, going from 45 to 105, and increased in diversity at all levels of the organization, with the company comprising 57% women and 62% People of Color. This session will explore the process of integrating DE&I into your workforce, including:

  • Challenges of recruiting diverse talent and strategies to attract a good mix of candidates from the start
  • How to leverage social media to showcase organizational commitment to DE&I efforts and source new talent
  • Importance of early engagement and diversity training for talent acquisition leaders

By disseminating accurate and balanced information, medical communications and publication professionals have unique opportunities to support and influence DE&I-related challenges as they affect healthcare decisions. We also can advance DE&I and clinical trial diversity to help represent diverse populations in healthcare.

  • Build diversity and inclusion through authorship, plain language summaries, and accessibility of medical publications
  • Outline medical communication’s role in advocating for diversity in clinical trial representation
  • Confront the impact of current underrepresentation of minorities in medical education and biomedical literature

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies must address how corporate policies and structures cause harm and destabilize the well-being of under-represented employees. Programs and policies, beyond traditional employee resources groups and volunteer task forces, are needed to address the public health crises that systemic oppressive and exclusionary practices have created. This session will explore continued oppression that Brown and Brown talent and leaders experience in corporate settings.

  • What is corporate trauma, and what does 'healing' look like in corporate setting?
  • How can we infuse and normalize healing principles in DE&I initiatives?
  • What actions can leaders take to identify the burden of being a marginalized employee and disrupt the systems that are perpetuating these cycles?

The challenges facing DE&I progress are multifaceted and require systemic change to achieve results. However, change often comes with resistance. You must prepare to tackle these obstacles straightforwardly, through the lens of change management, in order to make sure the changes you achieve are long-lasting.

  • Examine how a change management approach can help achieve the goal of equity and belonging
  • Review successful practical change management solutions
  • Explore how to get buy-in for DE&I initiatives
  • Manage relationships with internal DE&I partners to support DE&I efforts
  • Promote and drive dialogue to adopt inclusive practices

We have all seen images of refugees whose lives have been upended by forces beyond their control, fleeing their homes for safety. This session describes how to open up an untapped and highly dedicated talent pool, and the necessary steps for programs that add skilled refugees to the workforce.

  • Cross-functional “fit for purpose” DE&I best practices
  • Initiating a Refugee Hiring Program
  • Translating objectives into measurable success

Day One Concludes

First-generation (“first-gen”) students are students first in their family to go to college and a very diverse group. Hence an ideal pipeline of diverse, young talent. However, there’s a big problem: each year 1 out of 3 first-generation students drop out of college. That is approximately 125,000 young talents who will not achieve their dreams and become potential assets to our companies, patients we serve and ultimately the broader economy. A major reason is their everyday life and background can make it difficult to focus on studying as the rigors of education escalate in college. For example:

We need to create opportunities for first-gen students to remain and prosper in school. One approach is a First-Gen speakers bureau which, in contrast to the typical high-profile speakers, has first-generation students as speakers. The purpose is to have students speak at Pharma, Life Science and other STEM-type companies on different topics that will often surprise and educate the audience serving as an opportunity for change management. Today topics could include applications of ChatGPT, and other AI tools or cutting-edge scientific advances sometimes hardly known by our industry colleagues. The students can be trained and paid for their speaking while taking advantage of networking opportunities which results in a more profitable use of their time rather than a menial service job, and hopefully a boost to their self-esteem which may be a barrier to their progress.

  • It can be harder for first-gens to fit in because they don’t have a family member to help them navigate college life
  • Many need to have one or more jobs to help pay for room and board, not to mention books and other customary expenses
  • They may have to help out at the family business or care for family members

As the population ages, understanding the impact of various generations on healthcare decisions, especially in diverse settings, is critical for successful communication. Combining experience in the field with primary research, we will provide considerations to aid in your planning for clinical trials and for general communication programs. Understand and create an action plan for:

  • The role of families and caregivers in healthcare decisions
  • When, where and how to best activate generations to reach diverse patient populations
  • How to adjust your messaging and communication channels and modalities to improve communication with generational healthcare stakeholders

Organizations that value DEI want to create a more inclusive environment internally and externally as it’s essential for everyone to have access. Digital accessibility allows equal access and equal opportunity for as many people as possible. By improving and expanding user experience, all users benefit – including people with disabilities. In the digital age, accessibility touches nearly every aspect of an organization. At Merck we have a global digital accessibility policy that has embarked on a companywide initiative to provide equal access to our digital landscape for our workforce, patients, and consumers. With cross-organizational collaboration from DEI, IT, research, manufacturing, commercial, and an array of support functions, the north star of our multi-year roadmap is to yield tangible results for inclusivity for all. DEI = DEI&A. In this session, we will discuss the Why, What, and How of digital accessibility in global pharma:

  • The WHY: diversity equity & inclusion, environmental social governance
  • The WHAT: information & communication technologies (ICTs)
  • The HOW: accessibility by design and shifting-left with universal design

With more than 40,000 employees across the globe, creating an overarching sense of belonging and a global culture of inclusion requires an understanding of the barriers diverse employees may experience in the workplace. Lilly’s employee journey work, first launched in 2015, dove deep into the unfiltered experiences of our employees with dimensions of difference and uncovered moments of truth for each demographic’s workplace experience. In this session, DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Lilly’s Senior Director of Global Programming and Operations for DEI, will share how what we’ve learned has helped Lilly better understand and address challenges that employees with dimensions of difference may experience in the work force.

ERGs are becoming commonplace but to be truly effective, DEI practitioners need to provide a clear framework and policy to support ERGs.

  • Help ERG become effective communicators and build resilience
  • Drive positive change as ERGs and networks data to inform business activities and collaborate with external business partners
  • Support ERGs and networks as they reinvent themselves in times of change
  • Recognize how ERGs provide a sense of community
  • Leverage ERGs to build leadership capabilities

Equity and equality are not equal, yet the terms are often used interchangeably. Enhancing your DE&I efforts, and creating targeted, actionable plans to make the workplace equitable not only creates a feeling of value and belonging for employees, but also improves your organization’s financial performance.

  • Examine the dangers of equity and equality being used as interchangeable terms and how it hinders DE&I progress
  • Highlight the importance of an equitable workforce across all departments and functions
  • Learn the difference between an equality-based approach and an equity-based approach
  • Explore how to apply an equity framework to policies, practices, decisions and programs

Conference Concludes