Johnson & Johnson Shares Best Practices to Empower Women
At the inaugural Women Empowerment Awards in China, Johnson & Johnson took home the prize for Best Company Multinational Corporation (MNC) for the Advancement of Women. Following the Awards, AmCham China spoke to Catherine Zheng, Talent Acquisition Head at Johnson & Johnson China, about the importance of female empowerment, promoting women in STEM, and how companies can successfully foster inclusive corporate culture.
This award recognizes one MNC that has demonstrated a commitment to real progress in gender equity and engaged people across all genders and levels. What has Johnson & Johnson been doing in the area of women’s empowerment?
Catherine Zheng: Johnson & Johnson is the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company. Guided by Our Credo, we blend heart, science, and ingenuity to fundamentally change the trajectory of health for humanity. We are committed to promoting a working environment that supports employees’ development and advocates for gender equity. Females account for about 50% of Johnson & Johnson employees both at the global level and in China.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion at Johnson & Johnson is not just a commitment – it is the reality of how we live and work. The best innovations come when our people reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions, and approaches. We know that the best ideas, the best solutions, happen when people bring their uniqueness to work with them. We understand that one of the most effective ways of understanding and meeting the needs and desires of our diverse patients, consumers, and customers, is to have a workforce that reflects that diversity.
The company also is dedicated to providing sufficient support for all employees, including female employees and women leaders to realize their full potential, achieve physical, mental, emotional, and financial health, build relationship capital, and drive an inclusive environment and culture.
As we see more companies prioritizing women’s empowerment, J&J has the distinction of being a trailblazer in the advancement of women in business. What has made your initiatives so effective so far?
Catherine Zheng: Johnson & Johnson attaches high importance to our employees’ comprehensive growth and strives to create a diversified and inclusive environment for employees’ development and well-being. The leadership team is dedicated to building a culture that champions Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In June, we had the first J&J China DE&I week, where we convened multiple townhalls and workshops to engage employees and share perspectives around a few key themes namely, Alliance for Diverse Abilities, Open & Out, Women’s Leadership & Inclusion, and GenNOW. These employee resources groups provide platforms and tools to not only celebrate the DE&I culture, but also supports the advancement of employees. I think our initiatives have been especially effective because we foster a culture of belonging and breakthroughs, we believe by doing so we will continue to fuel innovation in human health.
It’s great to see an MNC in the STEM field put such an emphasis on empowering female leaders. What will J&J continue to work on and are there any new projects planned to continue your work on diversity?
Catherine Zheng: Since the founding of our company 135 years ago, Johnson & Johnson has been championing women. Eight of our 14 first employees were women. Our commitment to champion women is written into our company’s long-term goals – we pledge to achieve 50% of women in management positions globally by 2025.
In 2015 we launched our WiSTEM2D initiative (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design). As the leading healthcare company, we believe it’s our responsibility to take groundbreaking action that drives positive change for women of all ages in the STEM2D ecosystem around the world. Our objective is to increase representation of women in science and technical fields by building partnerships to open new doors, create inspiring moments to honor women in STEM2D, playing the part of role models, and mentoring women throughout the fundamental stages of their lives. Through our WiSTEM2D initiative, a J&J China Pro Bono team was formed to deploy a pilot initiative, “3D Printing (3DP) for Disabled Children”. Partnering with community, industry experts and social enterprises, the team educated girls through workshops to support their learning about 3DP, while also demonstrating in action what ‘technology for good’ can look like.
Johnson & Johnson values and harnesses the power of diversity for our company and our patients and consumers. We will continue to promote advancement of our employees, and also advancement of our communities.