Inclusion and diversity at GSK
As a company which improves the lives of hundreds of millions of people globally with our medicines, vaccines and consumer products, we take pride in providing access to all – but we have an opportunity and obligation to do more to improve inclusion and diversity: for our people inside GSK; in the way we do business; and in the communities where we operate.
We want our company to be a place where diversity of people and thought is valued everywhere and where we’re all able to be ourselves and feel a sense of belonging. Getting this right will strengthen our performance, by bringing us even closer to the needs of our customers and of each other.
We take pride in being a company where everyone can be themselves, and where diversity is embraced and celebrated. At GSK, we all hold ourselves accountable for ensuring that respect and inclusivity are at the very heart of our culture as a company.
Our global approach to inclusion and diversity
The three pillars of our approach to inclusion and diversity are Our People, Our Business and Our Communities, but we’re starting inside our company. We’re committed to being more proactive at all levels so that our workforce reflects the communities we work and hire in, and our GSK leadership reflects our GSK workforce. So our focus for 2021 is on our people – the way we recruit and develop people, exploring ways to foster a more inclusive environment and making sure our policies and processes always promote equal opportunity.
How we are becoming a more inclusive organisation
We’ve made good progress – delivering new inclusion training, launching a development programme for ethnically diverse employees, and we’re reviewing our recruitment and selection processes – to name a few. We’re eager to achieve even more – so we have set ourselves new aspirational targets to ensure we have the focus we need to do even better.
GSK public Trust commitments on Inclusion & Diversity
1. As a member of the Valuable 500, deliver against its objectives
2. Globally, at least 45% female representation in senior roles by end of 2025
3. Be recognised in global LGBT+ indices
Race & Ethnicity
4. In the US: at least 30% ethnically diverse leaders in our VP and above roles by the end of 2025
5. In the UK: at least 18% ethnically diverse leaders in our VP and above roles by the end of 2025
See our latest press release here.
Our Diversity Councils and Employee Resource Groups: working together to drive inclusion at GSK
What are our Global Diversity Councils and how many do we have?
Across GSK, we have four Global Diversity Councils – Ethnicity, Gender, LGBT+ and Disability - that support our inclusion and diversity agenda. Each council is chaired by members of the Corporate Executive Team and members comprise of senior leaders from across the company as well as representatives from our Employee Resource Groups.Back to top
Our Employee Resource Groups are a key part of what we do and how we operate at GSK.
At GSK, we have a variety of active Employee Resource Groups covering all areas of diversity. This includes local Employee Resource Group chapters across over 60 markets which are made up of 10,000+ passionate voluntary members. Our Employee Resource Groups are strongly connected into our Global Diversity Councils and meet regularly with executive team members to share ideas views and perspectives.
Our Employee Resource Groups include:
- EMBRACE – the UK and rest of the world group working together to create an environment that enables Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees to reach their full potential. As well as EMBRACE, there are three other ERGs that focus on ethnicity and cultural inclusion: Fusion – our Asian Business Network fostering professional development, community outreach, networking and leadership opportunities; Mosaic – a US group drawing on the diverse knowledge, perspectives, experiences and talents of GSK’s Black employees and employees of African descent in the US and Crece – supports inclusion and collaboration of diverse talents and perspectives; leveraging the Latino-Hispanic value within the work place, the market place and the community.
- Women’s Leader Initiative (WLI) – WLI accelerates the personal development and professional advancement of women and men through transformational learning and leadership opportunities and experiences.
- Spectrum – provides a supportive, nurturing forum for GSK's employees, across the spectrum of sexual orientation or gender identity. Spectrum support GSK’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally employees, and work with us to increase the awareness and understanding of issues and concerns that impact them.
- Disability Confidence Network (DCN) - work to ensure all employees feel valued and are able to reach their potential through inclusion, awareness, education, access to workplace adaptations and advocacy. Our Disability Confidence Network provides a forum for employees to find out more about accessibility and raise awareness of local initiatives.
Our Employee Resource Groups are central to our Inclusion and Diversity agenda, and they are integral to achieving GSK’s aspirations.
Learn more about race and ethnicity
We’re committed to improving diversity at GSK by recruiting and appointing diverse talent that mirrors the communities in which we work and serve. We have a strong track record of attracting ethnically diverse talent on our graduate programmes. We’ve made several changes to widen participation by investing in a challenging and progressive, strengths-based recruitment process that allows us to select the very best talent for GSK. This means we don't rely on traditional screening criteria alone, e.g. which school or university candidates attended.
Leaders at GSK are responsible for promoting and bringing to life our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has a sense of belonging and can be their best and most authentic selves – this starts with our executive team.
We have a range of existing development programmes specifically focused on encouraging a more racially and ethnically diverse pipeline of talent for leadership roles. These include our talent leadership development programmes in Asia and our Accelerating Differences - Ethnic Diversity programme.
Our ethnicity commitments:
- We have set appropriate and ambitious targets for the proportion of ethnically diverse talent we’ll recruit into our early talent programmes in the US and UK. Aspirational targets have also been set for senior leadership roles.
- For our most senior roles, we expect a diverse shortlist of qualified candidates, including ethnically diverse representation (defined by country).
- We worked with our Employee Resource Groups on the rollout of the Accelerating Difference development programme. For the first time, we’ve invited employees to self-nominate.
- Our Global Ethnicity Council is conducting a thorough review of our recruitment and selection processes – consulting with the Employee Resource Groups – and will make further recommendations.
Learn more about gender
We’ve had a long-term commitment to increase gender diversity at all levels and our Global Gender Council provides important input to guide our work, as does the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) with whom we have a valuable dialogue.
Our goal is that by 2025 we will have at least 45% female representation in senior roles.
The percentage of women in management has continued to rise at GSK. In 2020, women represented 48% of all management roles and 38% of senior management roles – VP and above. In January 2018, we signed up to the 30% Club gender campaign focused on achieving 30% female representation in senior management within FTSE 100 companies by 2020. GSK has already exceeded this target and remains committed to maintaining and improving on this. In 2020, in the UK in our first year of participation, we’ve been ranked in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.
We support development and career progression for high-performing female managers through our Accelerating Difference programme, which provides coaching and support. New for this year, for the first time we’re inviting employees to self-nominate. We also recruit and support women early in their careers through our graduate and apprentice programmes.
We have a long-standing commitment to fair and equal pay. We conduct country-based reviews and ensure all markets have clear guidance, tools and support to ensure pay equity. If unexplainable differences are detected, these are addressed through our compensation processes.
We published our fourth UK gender pay gap report in 2020. Our gender pay gap for all permanent UK-based GSK employees is 1.41% (mean), outperforming the national average of 14.6%. We remain committed to improving gender-balanced representation and the application of fair and equitable pay practices to ensure equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work.
Learn more about LGBT+
To accelerate our progress on inclusion and diversity, we are focusing particularly on promoting LGBT+ inclusion throughout the organisation.
Our goal is to be recognised in global LGBT+ indices and for two consecutive years (2019/20) LGBT+ rights group, Stonewall, have recognised GSK in its Top Global Employers list. We are also in the Top 10 in the UK Stonewall Index. Stonewall also named our employee resource group for LGBT+ employees and allies as the best in the UK. In the US, GSK was named Best Place to Work for LGBT equality for the fourth consecutive year in Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. We are a founder member of the Proud Science Alliance, a collective of healthcare and life sciences sector LGBTQ+ networks who work together to raise the bar on LGBT+ inclusion across the whole Health and Life Sciences sector.
We have pledged our support for the UN LGBTI global business standards and are members of Open for Business. This is a coalition of leading global companies dedicated to LGBT+ inclusion who are concerned about the spread of anti-LGBT+ policies in many countries in which they operate and are serious about taking action on LGBT+ inclusion globally.
Our Global LGBT+ Council objectives include:
- Ranking in the top 10 in the UK Stonewall Index.
- Maintaining positions on Stonewall Global Workplace Employment Index and US Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
- Ensuring continued plans for gender-neutral facilities.
- In collaboration with external partners, clarifying what areas we want to proactively influence change, and what clear actions are required to respond proactively internally and externally to changing legislative environment.
Learn more about Disability Confidence
We continue to prioritise disability inclusion through the work of our Global Disability Council and our Disability Confidence employee resource group. In 2020, GSK signed up to the Valuable 500 pledge as part of our ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive workplace which enables our people to thrive.
We’re committed to:
- Continuing to invest in workplace accessibility, based on assessments at GSK sites, and rolling out our Workplace Adjustment Services to more countries.
- Building the skills and knowledge of our people so they can be disability confident and inclusive of people with disabilities.
- Further improving the accessibility of our products’ packaging for our patients and consumers.
- Delivering the measurable three-year strategic disability confidence plan agreed by our Corporate Executive Team.
In addition, we are members of the UK government Disability Confident Scheme and signatories to the UK Department for International Development’s Charter for Change, joining other organisations with a common aim to ensure rights, freedoms, dignity and inclusion for people with disabilities. As a global company we apply the UK Disability Confident Scheme across the organisation.
How we do business at GSK
How we market our products
We don’t conform to gender or racial stereotypes in our advertising and media. Our Consumer Healthcare team, is part of the Unstereotype Alliance, which sets out to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in all media and advertising.
Choosing our suppliers
Diversity in suppliers is a government requirement of some countries but our approach goes well beyond meeting compliance targets and this is a key focus for our procurement team:
- We’re committed to encouraging diverse businesses to take part in our procurement process across all markets.
- We regularly listen to ideas, facts, viewpoints and have a voice through external advocacy organisations to identify high potential diverse suppliers.
We believe having a diverse supplier base is good for our company and the communities we work in. Diverse businesses improve our productivity, quality, service and bring innovation and fresh ideas.
The way we carry out diverse clinical trials at GSK
Different diseases and different medicines can affect people differently depending on their ethnicity, sex, race and age etc. So, representing the real-world disease population in our clinical trials is important so that our data represents real-world outcomes.
We’re focusing on improving clinical trial diversity through five key approaches:
- Characterising the populations with the burden of disease and barriers to access.
- Engaging with communities and advocacy groups to build trust, enhance awareness and provide education and outreach.
- Understanding and advocating for current clinical trial diversity guidelines from agencies and professional organisations as well as from community and patient advocacy groups.
- Embedding scientific questions for population-related responses within study protocols.
- Training and supporting GSK staff and research collaborators for success in enrolling diverse populations in clinical trials.
Actively supporting ethnically diverse community groups
We have a long heritage of supporting underserved and marginalised populations in our communities through global health partnerships, local community support, response to humanitarian emergencies and STEM education programmes. We support partners through donations, capability development, employee volunteering and product donations, with a focus on improving health and access to healthcare.
We follow strict principles to make sure grants are given fairly to organisations closest to the communities they work with, and in populations with the greatest unmet needs. Examples include:
The GSK IMPACT Award programme recognises local non-profits and charities in underserved communities where we operate for innovative and transformational projects that make our communities healthier. These organisations are improving health and wellbeing, education, keeping children active, making homes and communities safer, linking families to much needed support services, and preparing people of all ages for successful careers – all important factors to improving health outcomes in underserved neighbourhoods. The GSK IMPACT Awards are offered in the UK and Philadelphia, PA and RTP, NC regions in the US.
Our HIV business, ViiV Healthcare has always responded proactively to the inequalities in how HIV impacts Black and Latin American populations and was the first company with specific initiatives for Black gay and bisexual men, Black women, and transgender people to address these disparities through the Positive Action Community Grants programme, supporting operations of community organisations and strengthening networks committed to ending the epidemic
In the US specifically, our approach to philanthropy centres on addressing structural inequity in the communities where we live and work:
- The majority of our US ViiV philanthropic giving supports Black and Latin American communities - click here for more.
- In August 2020, we announced our commitment of $10 million over 10 years to help Black, Latinx and female students in Philadelphia, PA overcome obstacles to their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through the creation of the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective. Click here to learn more.
- In December 2020, we announced our support of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Scholars Initiative – a programme seeking to nurture the professional success of diverse, early-career genetics and genomics researchers. Our partnership with ASHG will foster and improve diversity and inclusion in genetics and genomics research, both in the workforce and research study populations.
- Click here to learn more about our community work in the US.
- Click here to learn more about our community work in the UK.
Find out more
Learn how we create an inspiring and supportive work environment that encourages employees to develop capabilities and achieve their best