Roche Ranks 3rd Globally in Diversity and Inclusion Index

Creating a diverse workplace in which everyone is valued and has an equal opportunity to grow and develop has been proved to positively impact a company’s culture, performance and profitability. In a male-dominant region such as the Middle East that is constantly scrutinized by the media, it is important to bring to light efforts being put towards equal opportunities. One such platform is the Global Women In Leadership Economic Forum, where Roche Diagnostics Middle East showcased their dedication to supporting women in the workplace through their active presence and participation across the two-day program. A keynote speech delivered at the opening of the conference highlighted the 2015 Diversity and Inclusion index; where Roche ranked in third place with a score of 77.5 out of a possible 100; coming in after Medtronic (79.25) and Diageo (78.25) respectively.

Innovation is at the core of what we do at Roche. We firmly believe that diversity of all kinds is a driver of innovation because it brings together different opinions and perspectives to create the best possible outcomes, both in terms of individual career goals and collectively. Across the Middle East, Roche Diagnostics is driving and fostering integration, inclusion and equality in the workplace as a top priority and has been successful in attracting and retaining female talent in the workplace where 18% of the regional leadership roles are now occupied by women.

Success can also be seen in Saudi Arabia where the company has steadily increased the number of female team members by 400% since 2013. In addition, Roche has created groundbreaking training and development initiatives that encourage and empower women’s ongoing skill development to push their own boundaries, but that of science and technology too. As a result, a significant (20%) increase in women in leadership roles has been witnessed in the past 3 years.

Prestigious panel of speakers

From November 2nd to the 3rd, Roche Diagnostics was represented by Cris Wilbur, Senior Vice President & Global Head of Human Resources, Kristen Pressner, Vice President of HR Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Moritz Hartmann, General Manager of Roche Diagnostics Middle East and Maysoun Ramadan, Communications Manager Middle East.

Also representing Roche at this year’s conference were select women of leadership at Roche from different parts of the world including  Cris Wilbur led a discussion on changing the rules of the game in the workplace. The lively panel tackled questions such as how women can make office politics work in their favor and how to battle ‘unconscious biases’. Kristen Pressner represented Roche in an inspirational keynote speech that made a huge impact on the audience, as she highlighted women’s leadership role and the question of ‘having it all’.

Adding to Cris and Kristen’s contributions, Mortiz Hartmann, General Manager Roche Diagnostics Middle East, was equally vocal on his opinion regarding women in leadership positions. Commenting on the future of female leadership in the region, Moritz said humorously “if men don’t wake up, in twenty years women will be running the Middle East.”
Further, Hartmann explained that during his working life, he has found that women bring great energy to the workplace, are more capable of multitasking and are very strong competition to their male colleagues. However, Moritz stressed that mixed gender collaboration in the workplace shouldn’t be about competing with one another; instead it should only be seen as opportunity. During his session Moritz told of the interesting journey it has been transforming Roche Diagnostic’s Middle East operations from a very male dominated environment to one that is now seen as leading the way in diversity and female improvement. His modesty about the game-changing role he played in making this happen was highlight by panel moderator Sophie Le Ray, who singled him our as a true advocate for female leadership in the region and being a male champion of change.

The second day of the event saw Maysoun Ramadan, Communications Manager Middle East, taking the stage to participate in an engaging talk on the development of world-class talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and fostering a diverse scientific community. Commenting on her company’s participation, Ramadan stated that in the field of science and technology, it is vital to have a diverse workforce in order to ensure the best outcomes. She also added that she believes the reason the number of women in the STEM field is still quite low is due to the fact that the field is misrepresented as being ‘too technical and just about lab work’; Maysoun emphasized the need to better market the STEM field to make it more appealing to the female talent pool. Ramadan commended her company by saying “Roche’s unwavering commitment in ensuring women are present and represented in all departments, and are given training, opportunities and unprecedented levels of support and responsibility in equal measures, means that women are given the platform to contribute as equally as men to the STEM field. For this, I applaud Roche.”

No success without health

Discussions about women’s success and career development nearly overshadowed a major topic: health. Roche Diagnostics Middle East seized the opportunity to host an interactive session for thought leaders at the forum, highlighting the crucial impact of health in a woman’s success.

Introducing guests to The Power of Knowing, Maysoun led the session and presented the value this knowledge can bring women, especially in the areas of oncology and pregnancy care. She pointed out: “We are caught up in all our responsibilities as women, be it in our careers or our personal lives, but we forget our health. In fact, you can’t be successful in any part of your life if you sacrifice your health. This is why The Power of Knowing is so important. Be aware of what you can do to take care of your body, learn all about the tests to find out about your health risks, and take control of what you can do to get better.”

Roche Women In Leadership

As the Middle East region continues to grow in number and complexity, Roche Diagnostics is helping shape the future of healthcare in this vast and diverse region where more than 380 employees are working across 16 different countries.

On November 4th, following to our success at the conference, Roche Diagnostics Middle East’s offices in Dubai hosted our Roche Women In Leadership to learn more about the region’s journey and achievements since establishment and priorities for the years ahead.

Tags: Career Blog