November 16, 2022
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Johnson & Johnson
As companies search for ways to retain top talent and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, leaders must first take into account the impact their efforts have on local communities.
At the 2022 Business Solves Corporate Citizenship Conference and Awards, Wanda Hope, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), shared how the company is working towards solutions to drive diversity and inclusion with internal and external partnerships.
Johnson & Johnson Is Working to Drive Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
Over the years, J&J has won numerous awards for its diversity and inclusion efforts. In 2021, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) named J&J Corporation of the Year. All of it begins with the company’s guiding principles, said Hope.
“Our credo has three core paragraphs — the first is focused on our responsibility to [those] … who utilize our products around the world every day,” she explained. “The second paragraph is focused on our responsibility to our employees. The third is our responsibility to our communities, and the fourth is our responsibility to our shareholders.”
“We truly believe that if we do those first three paragraphs right, our shareholders have no choice but to realize a fair return — that formula has worked for more than 130 years at this point,” she continued.
Businesses Must Pinpoint Their Strategy to Drive DEI Initiatives
Hope explained that J&J’s success in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) boils down to the company’s strategy and ability to shift that strategy no matter the conditions, citing the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate effects on minority communities.
“Just like we have a strategy around every product that we sell or every opportunity that comes along, we have a strategy around this,” explained Hope. “And that strategy really was developed in the same way that we would develop a business strategy.”
“We have evolved our strategy to make sure that we're living into these new demands in the marketplace,” she continued. “We’re focused on … making sure that we are strengthening our global culture of inclusion so that we really understand the needs of the local marketplace. We're also focused on building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities that we serve.”
Leaders Must Take Accountability for Multiple Aspects of DEI Initiatives
Hope also spoke about the concept of leadership accountability as the driving force behind successful DEI efforts. She explained there are multiple areas of accountability that must come to the forefront.
“We often say in business, ‘what gets measured gets done,’” said Hope. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion are no different — there's accountability around creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of those that we serve.”
“There's accountability around being an inclusive leader [as well],” she continued. “[And] we actually have an inclusion index that measures where our employees tell the leaders how they feel about whether or not you are inclusive or you're hearing all voices, and you're inviting different perspectives in — and you actually get a measurement that helps you figure out what you can be doing better.”
Hope also mentioned accountability for the business component of the business’s DEI initiatives, including “understanding the diverse needs of all that we serve and embedding that into how we develop solutions for healthcare,” she said.
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