Company: Novartis
Diversity Team Name: U.S. Diversity & Inclusion Team
Diversity Team Leader(s): Marion Brooks, Vice President and US Country Head, Diversity & Inclusion

What Makes this Diversity Team Stand Out

Novartis has assembled a global team to design and implement a D&I strategy that will strengthen our talent base and shape a more inclusive and equitable society. The U.S. team, led by Marion Brooks, Vice President and US Country Head, Diversity & Inclusion, is delivering on strategies to support all genders, races, ethnicities, abilities, and sexual orientations, and building divisional D&I Councils to embed these strategies and address local needs and concerns.


Talent Recruitment & Retention

  • Built the first Novartis D&I Talent Acquisition team to enhance our recruiting efforts in diverse communities.
  • Implemented new hiring guidelines designed to increase gender and racial/ethnic diversity in leadership through more diverse interview panels and candidate slates. In 2020, 90% of candidate slates are gender diverse; 80% reflect diverse races/ethnicities.
  • Launched a Multicultural Engagement Program pilot to identify, invest in, and support diverse talent, and prepare them for senior roles. Over 60% of the cohort advanced their careers in 12 months. The program has been expanded to all U.S. Divisions in 2021.
  • Expanded our Leading Up program to foster advancement for female leadership.

Fostering Inclusion/Belonging

  • Increased participation in 28 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) by 160%. More than 6,200 members plan mentoring and networking events, special recognition months, and outreach to underserved communities.
  • More than 15,000 associates participated in the company’s Inclusion in Action training series, which addresses unconscious bias and inclusion.
  • More than 4,800 associates joined a global webcast: Juneteenth: Generational Trauma and Mental Health in the African-American Community.
  • Held a U.S.-wide panel discussion, “Standing in Solidarity with the Asian American/Pacific Islander Community.”
  • More than 7,000 associates attended our Day of Reflection following the murder of George Floyd to engage in creating a more inclusive and positive work environment. The Day of Reflection will be an annual event commemorating the Juneteenth holiday.
  • Developed a tip sheet to help leaders initiate Courageous Conversations, fostering belonging and psychological safety within teams.

Societal Impact

  • Launched an initiative to increase diversity in clinical trials enterprise-wide.
  • Reduced disparities of care by building partnerships with patient and community organizations, and supporting education/awareness programs for underserved populations.
  • Launched an expanded Supplier Diversity program to identify and partner with more women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQI+-owned businesses.
  • Launched Capitol Hill Day, giving ERG members the opportunity to meet with members of Congress to share how ERGs are impacting our culture and society.
  • Continued our multicultural teen and disability mentoring day programs to inspire bold educational and career goals in diverse youth.
  • Expanded university relations outreach to build partnerships with and provide scholarships, mentoring and internships to students attending Historically Black Colleges/Universities HBCUs and Hispanic- serving institutions.


  • One of seven 2020 DiversityInc Hall of Fame companies.
  • Number one in our industry in the Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index (second consecutive year).
  • Scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s LGBTQ Corporate Equality Index; also named a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by HRC.
  • Featured in the April edition of Pharmaceutical Executive, as a company that has embraced D&I as a “must have.”