We still have a very long way to go to create organizations that embrace and put into practice the principles underlying diversity & inclusion. Part and parcel of that effort is acknowledging varying voices and points of view. MM&M’s June issue includes multiple essays, features and case studies, from both inside and outside the healthcare industry, designed to help you foster a more inclusive workplace and promote diversity of thought and ideas.
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- Editor's letter
Much of the material in this, our diversity and inclusion issue, was either taken directly from or inspired by our March Plus One conference held in Philadelphia. The diversity and inclusion event, held on an old wooden ship docked on Philly’s Delaware River waterfront, drew a crowd of 55 people from agencies, pharma companies, medtech firms and other friends of medical marketing. If you read only one MM&M eBook this year, make it this one.
- Continuing to build diversity and inclusion
There’s both good news and bad news about diversity and inclusion in our country and industry in 2019.
First the bad news: After all this time, we’re still talking, writing and thinking about diversity and inclusion (D&I). Despite the best efforts of so many people and organizations over the past few years, we still have a very long way to go to create organizations that truly embrace and put into practice the principles underlying D&I thinking. You’re not wrong to hope it would be second nature by now, something that’s a part of our collective DNA. But it’s not.
- 9 steps to a more diverse workplace
Companies hoping to create a working environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion might turn for inspiration to a somewhat unlikely but unquestionably cool place: Égalité Charity Drag Pageant, the annual drag queen contest at Publicis Groupe.
Launched by the company’s employee LGBTQ group Égalité, the event doubles as a fundraiser for LGBTQ charities and as a vehicle through which the company can show its support for LGBTQ employees. In the three years since its inception, the contest has become “the hottest ticket in town,” according to Publicis Health’s global chief talent officer Shannon Boyle, a self-styled “celebrity judge.” The fourth pageant is scheduled for June 13.
- A poet's challenge to medical marketers
March’s MM&M Plus One conference offered participants the opportunity to take part in roundtable discussions on topics related to diversity and inclusion in the medical marketing industry. The evening’s keynote speaker, author Bethanee Epifani Bryant, started the evening with a riveting performance of her prose poem “White Coats,” which described her experience with two doctors she felt weren’t listening to her because she is a black woman.
- Merck's Celeste Warren on why D&I is good for business
Five years ago, when Celeste Warren was first approached by Merck’s HR chief about assuming leadership over the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, she was cool to the idea. “I thought, ‘Oh, it’s so cliché — you know, the black woman who’s head of D&I,’” she says. But a subsequent sit-down with CEO Ken Frazier — and, specifically, a pointed exchange at the start of it — convinced her that tackling D&I at a 68,000-employee, 126-year-old company was the mission of a lifetime.
- What they're saying
The following post contains soundbites from MM&M’s inaugural Plus One event, an evening of candid conversations designed to inspire change and champion diversity in healthcare. While the industry is known for being predominantly white, the attendees were from diverse backgrounds and various professional levels, from president/C-suite member to account exec.
- Fingerpaint's Nicole Holland on not dimming your light
Unless you’re self-employed or the CEO of a very successful company, chances are good that you make some sort of accommodations to your true self in order to fit into the culture of your workplace. And most people would agree that having to wear a tie or heels once in a while or checking salty language for a more polite form of discourse are, at the end of the day, a small price to pay for the rewards and benefits of meaningful employment.
- 5 companies doing D&I right
While assembling this issue, we heard from any number of leaders who were seeking out a public forum in which they could share best practices, learnings and more. Which got us to wondering: What do these individuals think about the D&I practices of other organizations?
To that end, we offered anonymity to leaders at a range of companies — big pharma, midsize agencies and everything in between — so that they would speak openly about D&I, and specifically, about the organizations who might be further along the diversity and inclusion continuum than their own.