Sanofi Launches First-in-Pharma DE&I Board

Originally published at Sanofi U.S. ranked No. 27 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


Sanofi launches its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Board, the first-of-its-kind in the pharmaceutical industry to feature outside advisors. Sanofi’s DE&I Board will include three of the most influential voices in the DE&I space as board members appointed for three years: Organizational psychologist and best-selling author John Amaechi, award-winning social entrepreneur Caroline Casey and DE&I pioneer and renowned thought-leader Dr. Rohini Anand.

Sanofi’s DE&I strategy was revamped in June 2021 with set objectives toward 2025, built around three key pillars: Building representative leadership, creating a work environment where employees can bring their whole selves and engaging with the company’s diverse communities. The DE&I Board’s role is to ensure Sanofi’s DE&I strategy is rightly executed, to monitor progress on the company’s 2025 targets and to advise on how to accelerate the company’s impact in this space.

Together with the DE&I Board, Sanofi is launching a global Employee Resource Group (ERG) framework and five global focused ERGs: Gender+, Generations+, Pride+, Ability+ and Culture and Origins+, which will allow already existing local ERGs to scale and grow. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that help create a diverse and inclusive workplace. Critical in supporting their members’ professional and personal growth and in cultivating a sense of belonging, they ensure the company reflects, values and listens to its diverse employees’ communities.

“We’re committed to driving diversity, equity and inclusion in Sanofi and beyond,” said Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi. “These new initiatives will help us bring the outside in, so we can hear, listen and learn faster, and grow stronger as we continue our DE&I journey.”

The DE&I Board is composed of eleven members, including seven members from Sanofi’s leadership — Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer; Natalie Bickford, Chief People Officer; Olivier Charmeil, Head of General Medicines; Roy Papatheodorou, General Counsel and Head of Legal, Ethics and Business Integrity; John Reed, Head of Research and Development; Thomas Triomphe, Head of Vaccines; and Raj Verma, Chief Diversity, Culture and Experience Officer. Verma will chair the DE&I Board. One member will be one of the company’s five global Employee Resource Group Leads, with rotation among all global ERG Leads on an annual basis. The DE&I Board will meet three times per year and progress on the 2025 targets will continue to be communicated on a quarterly basis.

“I am always excited to support organizations looking to ensure that whether for colleagues, stakeholders or consumers, they stand for fairness, equity and the preservation of human dignity,” said Amaechi. “I am a scientist first and bring an understanding of what can work to performance through improving inclusion and equity in the context of a large, complex multinational company with a strong history and tradition. It’s clear there are many strong advocates within the company, and I am delighted to add my insights and expertise to those already present within Sanofi.”

“I am thrilled to join Sanofi’s DE&I Board as it affords me an opportunity to influence the critical need to address health care disparities globally,” said Dr. Anand. “With my experience in leading global DE&I transformations I am motivated to support Sanofi as it seeks to foster an equitable and inclusive culture that enables breakthrough innovations because it is the desired destination for diverse talent. I am impressed by the authenticity and humility with which the leadership approaches DE&I and its willingness and openness to learn from external thought leaders.”

“It’s a real honor to be joining the Sanofi DE&I Board, which will support the strategic evolution of business inclusion focusing on the complex intersectional nature of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Casey. “As a supporter of removing the decisive siloed approach which has and continues to create exclusion and mistrust, I am proud to bring the voice of disability business inclusion front and centre of Sanofi’s strategy both as a person with lived experience and as the founder of The Valuable 500.”

Sanofi’s DE&I Board External Members

John Amaechi is an organizational psychologist, best-selling author, Chartered Scientist (CSci), elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, Research Fellow at the University of East London and Founder of APS Intelligence. A former NBA sportsman, Amaechi serves as a mentor to many, a teacher to some and always uses his deep psychological insight combined with real life experience to provide a touchstone for people and companies who want to thrive, achieve and align their beliefs, values and ethics.

Dr. Rohini Anand is a strategic business leader, board member and author. With expertise that spans executive leadership, human capital, global corporate responsibility, wellness and diversity equity and inclusion, Dr. Anand brings a unique perspective on the critical alignment of the business culture and the triple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit) to drive exceptional performance. Most recently, Dr. Anand was Senior Vice-President Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo.

Caroline Casey is a businesswoman and activist, founder of The Valuable 500, the world’s largest CEO collective and business move for disability inclusion. Recently appointed President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), Casey also sits on several Diversity and Inclusion Boards, including L’Oréal and Sky.


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