Balance for better

Our people’s aspirations for a better
gender balance

More than 20 women's professional networks across Roche are bringing together men and women with the shared vision of gender equality and inclusion for all. These employee-created and -driven networks have been brought to life to strengthen our internal pipeline of female talent, build important networking opportunities, and develop leadership abilities. On this 2019 Women’s International Day, we asked some of these network leaders as well as other Roche leaders to share why making this commitment to #BalanceForBetter is important for them.


“It brings value for the company as well as for the individual.”

My passion to help women, and men, develop and grow so they can achieve their career aspirations inspired me to establish and lead the Pharma Technical Women Professionals (PTWP) programme from 2012 - 2017. Helping others feeds my soul and is highly motivating for me because of its positive impact - it brings value for the company as well as for the individual. I jumped at the opportunity to join GWP as co-chair for this reason. It's another great opportunity to positively impact men and women across our organization by providing impactful programming (networking opportunities, development programmes, influending advocacy) and to help shape Genentech's culture that values D&I.”

Joan Skinner, co-chair Genentech Women’s Professional Network


Each person brings unique thoughts, strengths, and perspectives that must be embraced.”

“Each person brings unique thoughts, strengths, and perspectives that must be embraced. At Roche, we strive to be the place to work to enable all our talented people to do their best work. That means looking at it not only from our own personal experience, but also trying to understand other people's perspectives and taking into account societal, economic and business developments. I have seen many teams including my own where having a diverse group and an inclusive approach were essential to moving forward complex projects, identifying solutions, and for growing personally.”

Cris Wilbur, Head of Roche Group Human Resources


“I resisted joining the Genentech Women Professionals for years, I thought it was a "woman's club."

“I resisted joining the Genetech Women Professionals (GWP) for years, I thought it was a "woman's club", and I wanted to help to create a company where everyone can be human at work and feel like they belong. I was so wrong!!! Luckily the opportunity came a few years ago to join the GWP team and to start a programme that randomly mixes people across functions into small groups who stay together for six months to cross-pollinate and support each other personally and at work. That programme has touched 600 people so far, and keeps growing. I ask myself, why do people keep coming back, when it costs them time and they get no rewards or career benefits? I think it's because we created a place where they can be themselves fully at work. And that's why I wanted to lead the GWP network, because real change comes from grass-roots movements that can thrive and help leadership make wise decisions on how to create the best company to work for."

Ana Lucia Jardim-Evans, co-chair Genentech Women’s Professional Network


“Simply stated, we should strive to be representative of the patients that we seek to serve around the globe.”

Simply stated, we should strive to be representative of the patients that we seek to serve around the globe. This includes mentoring and developing a diverse pool of talented leaders, as well as ensuring that we improve the representation of women and non-whites in our clinical trials. I'm grateful that we as colleagues have the commitment to our company and our patients to raise expectations and hold ourselves and our leadership accountable for the values we share. Now is the time to seek out and elevate leaders of the future who may look and behave differently from the leaders of today.”

John Gouws, Head of Genentech Research and Early Development Finance


I come and contribute because I want to see women grow and develop as future leaders. That’s a very personal commitment that I’ve made. ”

“One of the things that I really have appreciated about the value and the connections that are made as part of a network is that is helps us in creating these really inclusive environments. When people can come into a community and are able to share their experiences in a personal way it opens up the dialogue. The more that we do that by coaching and mentoring and developing others, the stronger people become and you can see the progress being made. That is my motivation and joy. It strengthens the community and through us being able to be  — ourselves who we are what we can bring to the table — and reflect that personal interest helps the community ultimately us as a company to advance and grow.”

Rebecca Vermeulen, Global Chair Roche Women Professional Networks


“Better gender balance doesn’t mean that we have gender parity in all roles, rather that all get equal opportunity without biases.”

“To me diversity and inclusion means ensuring that different perspectives are considered in decision making. This results in improved decision making that helps us better serve the diverse range of patients and customers who are counting on us to deliver on our purpose.”

Hong Chow, General Manager Roche Pharma China


“My passion is unleashing the potential of all people.”

“My passion is unleashing the potential of all people. For me, #BalanceForBetter means recognising that for a variety of reasons women are under-represented across many industries and types of roles — and that men are in others — and taking personal action to shift this. As a society, our ways of working are evolving faster than ever before, and the only path to success comes from ensuring the greatness of all of us is unleashed on the world”

Kristen Pressner, Global Head Human Resources Roche Diagnostics


“In my area of responsibility we are working every day on supporting the organisation on gender balance topics, be it by ensuring gender pay equity or by encouraging affiliates to implement programmes aimed at supporting working parents.”

“I am very fortunate to work with a team with around 20 different nationalities of both genders and of multiple generations. Every day I enjoy the diversity in thinking and the different perspectives my team members bring. Their varied cultural background creates an enriching and highly engaging work environment. Gender balance means to me that every Roche employee has equal opportunities to develop their potential and that they are rewarded fairly for the contribution they bring, regardless of gender. A better gender balance should be reflected in our workforce demographics across our organisation, especially in senior leadership.”

Roelof Kistemaker, Head of Talent Rewards and Insights

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Tags: People, Culture