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DiversityInc's 2016 Top 50 Announcement Dinner & Learning Sessions


April 19 | Cipriani Wall Street | New York City


No. 1 | Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation | DiversityInc Top 50

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President Christi Shaw tells the world Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) operates “through the lens of innovation, integrity and inclusion.” The importance of these three areas of focus is clear — particularly when leading a business that aims to improve patients’ lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions. In this video interview, Christi talks specifically about how medicine is becoming more personalized and how understanding difference is critical.

Innovation — Healthcare innovation generally refers to drug discovery and development. The company states that “Novartis aims to change the practice of medicine, and innovation at Novartis not only means developing effective, targeted medicines quickly, but also ensuring that these medicines get to the patients who need them.”

Diversity of thinking leads to innovative solutions, according to Dr. Vijay Bhargava, NPC’s Corporate EVP and Global Head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. In this video interview, he cites the company’s ability to find creative solutions to bring drugs to new marketplaces in underdeveloped countries. To accomplish this, we have tapped into our global talent pool and found ways to leverage existing data — available from a diverse population that we have already studied — and applied it in a way that could lead to faster patient access.”

Integrity — NPC has a Values and Integrity Guide for Responsible Business Conduct. These are enforced by local leadership globally and in the United States, and are included in the performance appraisal system.

Inclusion — In the face of a 31 percent increase in competition, NPC held on to the No. 1 spot on the DiversityInc Top 50 list, becoming the first company ever to be No. 1 two years in a row. This was accomplished through a disciplined plan to increase the talent pipeline to the top for all under-represented groups, with the most significant results for women. NPC is now better for women than any company that has participated in the Top 50 survey over the past 15 years. In this video interview, Caryn Parlavecchio, Vice President and Head of Human Resources, talks about the evolution in the last 14 years in developing a specific plan “with stakes in the ground” that included substantial on-boarding, mentoring and talent development.

NPC’s progress for women compared with the Top 50 average:

• 20 percent more in the workforce
• 26 percent more new hires
• 23 percent more in management
• 28 percent more promoted within management
• 32 percent more in the second and third levels of the organization
• 28 percent more in the top level

Since 2010, the percentage of women at the top level (CEO and direct reports) has tripled, while the percentage of women at levels 2 and 3 has increased by 42 and 31 percent, respectively.

Asians also have strong representation, especially in management, where NPC has 45 percent more than the Top 50 average.

The company’s 19 employee resource groups are used both for market development and recruitment/talent enhancement. More than half (52 percent) of employees now participate in these groups, an increase of 13 percent over last year. Resource group leaders’ roles and responsibilities are included in their performance reviews.


Christi Shaw
U.S. Country Head, President of Novartis Corporation and President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

“Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is focused on creating products, services and solutions that help patients manage disease and live fuller lives. We believe that diversity and inclusion are directly linked to the achievement of these goals—and can help us create a culture where people can be authentic and courageous, where collaboration can flourish, and where greater patient and customer understanding can drive future breakthroughs and innovations.”
Rhonda Crichlow, Novartis CorporationRhonda Crichlow
Vice President and Head of U.S. Diversity & Inclusion

“As a healthcare company, having clearer business focus relative to Diversity & Inclusion has become increasingly important to NPC. D&I aligns with what matters most to our business, enabling associates to develop and enhance sustainable business practices to meet the current and emerging needs of our customers, and keep patients at the center of everything we do.”


U.S. Headquarters: East Hanover, N.J.
U.S. Employees: 7,123 (NPC is the U.S. affiliate of Novartis AG)


  • Deep, visible CEO commitment
  • Women in top levels more than doubled in last 5 years
  • Moved up more than 7 spots in each of last 5 years
  • Executive diversity council focused on business goals and metrics


  • No. 2 Top 10 Companies for Recruitment
  • No. 7 Top 10 Companies for Employee Resource Groups

READ MORE ON Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

VIDEO: 2014 Top Company for Diversity Management Progress: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation VIDEO: Taking Medicine Personally — Addressing Emerging Patient Needs VIDEO: How Resource Groups Can Strengthen Employee, Patient and Customer Engagement What Sets the DiversityInc Top 10 Apart? Top Companies for Women: What 3 Best Practices They All Have How Do You Develop Executive Presence? WEB SEMINAR: DiversityInc Top 50 Best Practices With Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, EY Christi Shaw: 'We Tap Into All Perspectives' Caryn Parlavecchio: 'You Need to Make Sure Leaders Put Stakes in the Ground to Make Change Happen' Dr. Vijay Bhargava: 'Inclusive Culture Contributes to Scientific Success' Disability Mentoring Day at Novartis Helped Students Prepare for Workforce
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