Picture. John Allen

Rae Livingston on How AbbVie is Advancing Their Vision of Equity of Inclusion

Originally published at stories.abbvie.com. Rae Livingston is the Chief Equity Officer at AbbVie. AbbVie ranked No. 23 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.


At AbbVie, we are committed to valuing differences and creating an inclusive culture. Developing and delivering innovative life-changing medicines for our widely diverse patient population with unique health challenges requires thoughtfulness and creativity that comes from a wide range of important inputs.

That is why our commitment to Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) is foundational and has been part of our fabric since our inception. We seek to embrace the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of each of our colleagues. And, we do this by treating one another equally, with dignity and respect.

Our AbbVie EEDI vision is that every employee can say:

  • I belong (I am accepted as myself)
  • I am inspired (I am engaged to go the extra mile)
  • I am not the only one (I see myself in my colleagues and leaders)

Simply put, the work we are doing to drive equity and equality, eliminate bias and inspire inclusion is about the acceptance and activation of the sameness and the differences within all of us. Below are some of ways we are focused on advancing our EEDI vision in 2022 — and beyond.

Growing representation

Growing representation remains an important focus for us in 2022 when it comes to our talent growth strategies, with an emphasis on underrepresented populations. We aim to leverage talent attraction and talent management for broader workforce representation to reflect the diversity of patients we serve worldwide. As part of this work, we strive to create more access to opportunities for everyone and continuously evaluate productive pathways to talent development and attraction that provide a wider lens and differentiated outcomes. This is about seeking out the best talent, whoever and wherever they may be, and providing opportunities, including mentoring and sponsorship, for employees to develop and grow rewarding careers with us.

“The Pivotal Intersection”: Strengthening leadership capabilities at all levels

We are continuing to strengthen the inclusive-leader competency across our people leaders at all levels, with a focus on mid-level managers, because they occupy a critical junction within our culture. Our middle managers are essential to mobilizing AbbVie’s inclusive culture from multiple vantage points and with multiple stakeholders, to enhance individual belonging and organizational performance throughout the organization — upwards to their managers, and outwards to their team and their peers. We’re emphasizing and prioritizing learning and development for thousands of people leaders which includes skill building for successful, inclusive conversations and outcomes, as well as more ownership and accountability in creating optimal team dynamics. Personally, my goal is to support our leaders in continuing to gain confidence and grow in their ability to lead inclusively. This includes being knowledgeable in leveraging available resources for creating and/or enhancing that environment.

Driving organizational accountability for EEDI

To hardwire is to weave practices tightly and seamlessly into the fabric of an organization. That’s how you sustain inclusive efforts — regardless of roles or functions! We’re embedding world-class EEDI best practices, including strengthening talent management and career development, into our existing processes and practices to build the desired behaviors and amplify outcomes. And, we continue to look at how we can hardwire best practices into our goals, behaviors, processes and the ways we work leadership attributes to continue to enhance EEDI.

Strengthening community, well-being and belonging at AbbVie

We are committed to valuing differences and creating an inclusive culture. We are relentlessly committed to creating a sense of belonging and inclusion for everyone — every employee and anyone who is considering becoming part of AbbVie. To enhance the impact of our inclusive culture, we’re addressing opportunities to strengthen belonging across the organization. In addition to our focus on people leaders, we also do this through employee voice sessions, our employee resource groups and a diversity calendar to celebrate and acknowledge important milestones throughout the year.

In summary

I am proud of what we’ve done, and there is more to do to fully achieve the intent and desired outcomes of our EEDI vision. Sustaining an inclusive culture is about what we do every day, it’s not an event!

In 2022, we are actively enhancing and amplifying our focus on inclusive leadership at AbbVie, as well as driving more accountability across the enterprise as we work to achieve higher levels of excellence for equity, equality, diversity and inclusion globally. As we become more of who we aspire to be, we will keep checking our priorities by keeping a pulse on our people — to see what they continue to need to bring their best selves to this work. This will set the tone for 2023 and beyond.

What we do isn’t always easy, but we persevere because what we achieve inspires hope and transforms lives — every single day.

Please continue to support each other, learn, understand and show compassion to each other. This is what our inclusive culture and our principles are all about. This is who we are at AbbVie.

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