Magda's Story: Applying Heart, Skills and Ingenuity to Improve the Lives of Others
Magda's Story: Applying Heart, Skills and Ingenuity to Improve the Lives of Others

e have a proud tradition of support for employee volunteer work at Johnson & Johnson stretching back more than 100 years— in fact, it's one of the commitments enshrined in Our Credo. "We must be good citizens," it states, and "support good works and charities."

Evidence of that commitment is everywhere today at Johnson & Johnson. For instance, the benefits we offer include a provision for extended volunteer leave so you can take up to two weeks off from work—one of them fully paid—to volunteer for the nonprofit of your choice.

And every day, employees like Madiha Irfan take advantage of Johnson & Johnson groups like Janssen Cares to help build safer homes, serve in homeless shelters and contribute in other ways. We know that work/life balance is important, and we believe supporting purpose-driven volunteer work is an important complement to all the meaningful and productive work our employees do at the office. That Janssen Cares site is dated 2013.

There are so many places and ways that Johnson & Johnson continues to make good on Our Credo by supporting and empowering the work of our employee volunteers. But, since our Global Pro Bono program is ramping up again—this year the program will match our employees in North America and Latin America with organizations in Chile, Colombia and Puerto Rico—let's hear one employee's memorable experience as a participant in the program last year.

Global Pro Bono: Magda's Story

Global Pro Bono is Johnson & Johnson's latest initiative promoting employee volunteer work. An offshoot of Johnson & Johnson's Secondment Program, the initiative matches employees with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that need their specific skills for four-week engagements. Compañeros En Salud (CES), an NGO with health clinics in 10 remote communities in the Sierra Madre region of Chiapas, Mexico, needed a rare volunteer: someone with a background in marketing, communications and capability-building, who could help them with strategic planning and funding.


Enter Magda Mosquera Sandoval, Global Business Insights – Northern Cluster LATAM at Johnson & Johnson. Upon learning she had been selected as one of 11 participants in the program, Magda recalls thinking, "There are not many companies that provide this type of volunteer work opportunity. I felt truly connected to Our Credo."

Once she touched down in Chiapas, Magda went about putting the skill set she has developed in her career with Johnson & Johnson to good use. Working alongside a teammate from Johnson & Johnson, she consulted with staff members, visited the communities CES serves and identified organizational gaps and needs. Then, she began brainstorming solutions.

Within four weeks, she developed a framework for CES' target fundraising markets as well as audience segments. She rolled out a plan, broke down the best channels for reaching these segments and outlined key messaging—including templates the organization could use going forward. Finally, she laid out an implementation and transition plan. It was a "very moving experience to gain new perspective and touch lives,” she said.

I definitely recommend this program—not only for people who want to get out of their comfort zone, but also for people who want to engage with a cause and make a positive impact on society.


Her work complete, Magda flew home at the end of the four-week project. But she transplanted much of what she learned in Mexico with her. “I brought home with me lessons about humility and flexibility," she said. "It was also an excellent opportunity to boost my leadership and creative problem-solving skills, which have enhanced both my professional and personal life.”

The Secondment Program—and Our Ongoing Commitment to Making a Difference

Magda's wonderful work is a good example of how Johnson & Johnson is working to drive positive change all around the globe. Indeed, we believe that by transferring our skills and knowledge we can create long-term change in the world, and we launched the Secondment Program in 2014 to do exactly that.

The program pairs Johnson & Johnson employees who have relevant skills with NGO partner organizations for assignments lasting up to six months. This holistic approach makes sense to us: Our partners gain new capacity in their work on the front lines of health, and we in turn gain newly energized leaders who are living the values enshrined in Our Credo.

We're focused on making an impact—in everything that we do. Even as Fortune Global 500 companies today spend an estimated $20 billion annually on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the most important question for us is: What do these CSR partner organizations really need the most?

Across skill sets—from business development expertise, to supply chain knowledge, and quality monitoring and evaluation experience—we can supply capabilities that enable our partners to make a stronger, more sustainable impact.

As Lauren Moore, Vice President, Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson, put it, "Employees are the most important asset for our company, and their skills and experience are invaluable assets to our nonprofit partners as well."

Johnson & Johnson's Ongoing Commitment to Volunteer Work

Global Pro Bono may be the most recent initiative we've launched to support employee volunteer work, but it's certainly not the only opportunity available to our employees. We offer volunteer leaves and have policies in place so that employees with critical skills can request time off to help nonprofit NGOs in need. Our employees continually inspire and awe us with amazing stories of volunteer work in their local communities.

At Johnson & Johnson, we believe deeply in the power of volunteer work as an engine of change. That belief is reflected in our decision to join Impact 2030, an initiative that focuses on how private sector employee volunteers can be mobilized to help achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Do you want to be part of a company that empowers employees to volunteer and make a positive impact on the world? Check out all of the opportunities to join Johnson & Johnson today.

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