William Heath

William Heath
Group Vice President- Medicines Innovation Hub, Lilly Research Laboratories

Lilly Research Laboratories-Eli Lilly and Company
Headquarters: Indianapolis, IN
Industry: Pharmaceutical research and development, manufacturing and commercialization
CEO: Dave Ricks and Dan Skovronsky, executive vice president, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer and President of Lilly Research Laboratory
Website: www.lilly.com

Credentials: Ph.D., The Rockefeller University

Philosophy: Believes in “the coalition of the willing” to get things done to make Lilly a better place.

Culture change is the key to making DEI the “new normal” for this company and that includes engaging the broader workforce beyond leadership. One of the company’s most difficult challenge is gender parity because of a tight talent pipeline and a historical imbalance.

It’s been steadily chipping away at the roadblocks. The company created the Talent Development Academy to advance hiring, developing and retaining highly capable and diverse early talents who are the future of Eli Lilly. Senior staff have been key to its creation because they develop and implement talent acquisition and development programs. Metrics on DEI are integrated into the leader dashboard.

The result is a reliable, highly diversified talent pipeline including hundreds of interns and over 100 full-time hires, which boasts a 60/40 split in favor of females and members of underrepresented members.

In 2023, the company wants to capitalize on its investments in recruiting and talent development to broaden its DEI impact. Key measures will reflect growth in the number of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds and the progression of those scientists into positions of leadership and influence. In order to sustain this “new normal,” the company will have to remain committed to DEI while also delivering business outcomes. The two are not mutually exclusive but creating a steady pace is required for success.