From Pledge to Action: Diversity & Inclusion in Our Workplace
by Mirian Graddick-Weir, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
September is always a poignant time as children return to school, and we cling to the fond memories of our recent holidays with family and friends.
From a diversity and inclusion perspective, September is particularly important as Merck and MSD celebrates our second annual Global Diversity & Inclusion Experience month. Throughout September, we create a focal point for our 69,000 colleagues spanning more than 140 countries who represent different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. We celebrate our differences, learn from experts in the field and share ideas about the influence of diversity and inclusion (D&I) on our culture and business performance.
I’m also pleased to share that this past June, more than 175 senior executives from various industries signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. The intention was to unite the business community in further weaving D&I into the fabric of our companies. Executives pledged to recognize and overcome unconscious biases, create a trusting environment where difficult conversations can take place, and share the stories of D&I successes and lessons learned. Merck pledged support because we believe these D&I goals are important and attainable.
The power of diversity and inclusion is real. I see the efforts and effects of D&I every day. We are all shaped by our background and previous experiences. For example, the experiences of my youth and education – particularly the lessons my father taught me about race, stigma, passion and determination – created a foundation for my point of view, and perspective on a range of issues. My Executive Committee colleagues have had different professional and personal experiences. The power of our team comes from our ability to constructively challenge one another and sometimes engage in uncomfortable conversations that enable us to arrive at better business decisions. As senior leaders, we must create an environment where we encourage both comfortable and uncomfortable conversations among our teams, so we can take advantage of their different perspectives and experiences. Not only do we leverage the diverse talent of our workforce, but we enhance performance and innovation within our company.
From our public external pledges to our internally-facing practices, conversations and events, we strive to build an environment where inclusion is woven into the fabric of our culture. We leverage diversity to achieve better outcomes for individuals and the organization.
In honor of our global D&I experience month, I encourage you to share your D&I experiences and be an active voice for diversity in your workplace.