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5 Insights and Reflections for International Women's Day

International Women's Day is a time to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women, but it also comes with an important mandate to reflect and take action for organizations everywhere. After all, a quick survey of the latest workforce data reveals lingering gaps, asymmetries and some pretty serious room for improvement.

Take the following, for example:

  • In the U.S., while women are the majority of the population by a small margin, they earn the majority of undergraduate and graduate degrees by much larger ones: 7% and 9%, respectively.
  • Despite those dual majorities, women are promoted less often than men: Research shows that for every 100 men who are promoted to managerial roles, only 85 women are promoted.
  • Worse, that underrepresentation tends to increase with every tier that you climb on the organizational chart—to the point where only 5.2% of CEOs are women.

While we've been making great strides to fix imbalances like these at Johnson & Johnson, we recognize that there's still a lot more work to be done. We also strongly believe that what we do is just as important as how we do it—and supporting women in STEM, while advancing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion more generally, is absolutely foundational within that framework.

With that in mind, and to help mark the arrival of International Women's Day, a few of our colleagues shared reflections and insights inspired by the occasion.

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In college and graduate school, it sometimes felt like a point of pride that I was 'tough enough' to be part of this male-dominated crowd in STEM. I think that was true for other women as well, and I cringe about it in retrospect. There was a filter being applied, but it wasn't about filtering for the best people!

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I bring my woman’s instinct, marketing experience and business acumen to work every day. This is respected and valued at Johnson & Johnson, and it has led me to decisions that result in better outcomes.

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We're being much more targeted and thoughtful in terms of who we recruit and how we go about it—and in data science I think it really helps when the person leading the team doesn't look like your average data scientist.

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Diversity, equity and inclusion are values in Our Credo. For me personally, that means I can bring every aspect of who I am to work every day. My gender. My culture. My ethnicity. My Southern twang that might come out sometimes. Everything that's 'Kizzy' is encouraged.

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It's not easy to be the only woman to sit at the table with men. How can we change this? In the workplace, I think more encouragement, support, mentorship and, most importantly, sponsorship from women and men in positions of power will be key.

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Join Our Team Today!

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. These are buzzwords at some companies. At Johnson & Johnson, they're central pillars of Our Credo, the north star guiding everything we do. So we're taking action right now: introducing top-down changes to policies and workflows, using new tools and technologies to uncover hidden obstacles to gender parity and a whole lot more. And while this is a huge organizational priority for any number of good reasons, it also comes down to a simple fact: We're honored, humbled and privileged to have such amazing women around the world as colleagues on our team!

This International Women's Day, why not explore some of the ways you can join us? Help us change the future of health for good today.

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