No. 1 | Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation | DiversityInc Top 50

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Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) becomes the first company to ever hold the No. 1 spot two years in a row. This company’s diversity-and-inclusion journey has evolved from compliance to true leadership and provides a roadmap for other organizations to follow.

NPC received a well-deserved award last fall as DiversityInc’s Top Company for Diversity- Management Progress. Under the leadership of U.S. Country Head, President of Novartis Corporation & President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Christi Shaw, the company has a remarkable track record for promoting women: Approximately 60 percent of Shaw’s direct reports are women.

NPC’s D&I strategy focuses on leveraging the diversity of patients, customers and markets. Diversity and inclusion are embedded in every aspect of NPC’s business, from new- product development, to clinical-trial diversity, to commercialization and marketing. NPC’s D&I strategy also has focused on recruitment, on-boarding and talent development.

The company has had a disciplined plan to get to this level of diversity management, led by Rhonda Crichlow, Vice President & Head of U.S. Diversity & Inclusion. As part of the performance-management process, executive- committee members and people managers have objectives related to NPC’s D&I strategy.

The company’s 19 employee resource groups are used both for market development and recruitment/talent enhancement. Many employees participate in these groups—and leaders can capture their roles/responsibilities as part of the performance-management process.

The company has an Executive Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC), with Shaw and Crichlow serving as co-chairs. EDIC members represent each functional group and business organization within the company. There also are D&I councils organized by employees who take responsibility for “infusing” D&I in their organizations and functions.


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

Christi Shaw, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation: ‘We Tap Into All Perspectives’ Novartis’ Caryn Parlavecchio: ‘You Need to Make Sure Leaders Put Stakes in the Ground to Make Change Happen’ Web Seminar: Building a Talent Pipeline With Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Kaiser Permanente How Do You Develop Executive Presence? Novartis’ Vijay Bhargava: ‘Inclusive Culture Contributes to Scientific Success’
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