Driving Positive Change for Gender Equality — J&J Family of Companies in Australia Recognized

As this month of celebrating Women’s History comes to a close, I am especially proud to announce that the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Australia has earned two recognitions for the amazing strides we are making in bringing progress to gender equality. I’m excited to be sharing this news with my colleagues across Johnson & Johnson Innovation, who are also passionate about creating more inclusive workspaces worldwide.

Australia’s Workplace for Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has granted the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Australia the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation for 2020 through 2022. Through initiatives like inclusive leadership competencies and equal opportunity in hiring, compensation, and development, we have created standard-setting practices that have made Johnson & Johnson a champion for gender equality in this vibrant part of the world.

I am also thrilled to announce that the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Australia was named a Top 100 Graduate Employer for 2021 by The Australian Financial Review, placing sixth among finalists in the Most Popular Retailer and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Employer category. The award is a true testament to the focus we place on making Johnson & Johnson the place to be for new talent.

As the international ambassador to the WiSTEM²D Scholars Program, I am proud to have helped create an initiative that supports women and girls in STEM²D in Australia and around the world. From fostering STEM²D interests in youth, to encouraging women considering tertiary education, and even mentoring professionals, WiSTEM²D is working hard to champion women and give them the tools and resources to succeed in science, technology, engineering, math, manufacturing, and design. In Australia we introduced the WiSTEM2D @ Griffith University pillar in 2018. As part of the programme, we provided funding for Griffith researchers to investigate barriers and enablers to attracting, retaining and graduating women in undergraduate STEM2D degrees. This research identified the importance of providing access to role models, both female and male, in retaining females in STEM university programmes as well as the need for targeted social marketing activities, including testimonials, to help retain women in university programs.

At Johnson & Johnson, we know the value of gender equality. It isn’t only about creating a better world for people of all backgrounds, but also about creating a stronger business, where unique perspectives drive innovation and solutions. A study from McKinsey & Company[1], which analyzed more than 1,000 companies worldwide, proved that organizations with greater diversity among their executive teams tend to have higher profits and longer-term value as well. When Johnson & Johnson was founded more than 130 years ago, eight of its first 14 employees were women. Throughout the history of STEM²D, paradigm shifts in knowledge have been discovered by female minds. From the world’s first computer algorithm to key discoveries like radiation, dark matter, and even CRISPR, women stand equally among men in their contributions pioneering STEM²D.

In Australia, research shows that as children and young adults, women are discouraged from pursuing interests in STEM and if they do overcome these roadblocks, women are paid less than their male counterparts. In 2017 to help address this sector-wide issue, I co-founded PAIG – Pharmaceutical Australia Inclusion Group with more than 20 different pharmaceutical company members. The objective of this Medicines Australia special interest group is to build a more inclusive industry where all people are equally valued, rewarded and thrive. Originally named PAGE (Pharma Australia Gender Equity), PAIG has since evolved to reflect a broader focus on inclusion. In 2018, Mercer[2] was engaged to analyse member data and generate insights about the status of and barriers to gender equality and gender pay equity within the pharmaceutical industry. The results identified areas for improvement, including the need to close the pay gap of 14% (in favour of men), ensure parity of starting salaries (5.2% in favour of men, compounded throughout the course of their careers) and bonus payments for both genders. Despite women comprising approximately 60% of the Australian pharmaceutical sector, men make up 66% of Head of Organisation roles.  Using the findings of this research PAIG developed a suite of training programs addressing issues which impacted equity. These included access to flexible work-practises, adopting a rigorous approach to achieving and sustaining pay equity, maximizing the sectors’ female talent pipeline and improving the parental leave experience for all working families in pharma.

At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we are proud to be among a leading group of companies that understand gender equality isn’t just a social issue. Women are catalysts to creating healthier people, healthier communities, and a healthier world, and Johnson & Johnson is working hard to ensure any woman or girl interested in STEM²D can have the ability to unlock their potential.

To find out more or to become involved, please visit the WiSTEM²D program, Johnson & Johnson’s initiative to support women in STEM and related fields: jnj.com/wistem2d.


[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/delivering-through-diversity

[2] https://www.medicinesaustralia.com.au/policy/pharma-australia-inclusion-group-paig/