As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8, we’re reminded of what’s possible when we ensure all of our employees feel engaged, valued and heard. Throughout CSL Behring, this translates to living out our values and helping patients prevail over rare and serious diseases while protecting public health.
Undoubtedly we’ve seen firsthand how diversity and inclusion helps us drive innovation, which leads to scientific breakthroughs, which leads to transformational therapies, which leads to better health outcomes.
At our company, where more than 57 percent of our employees are women, diversity and inclusion have long contributed to the organization’s strong business growth and performance by helping us to:
- better understand and connect with our patients and other key stakeholders;
- attract, develop, retain and engage talent for long-term success;
- foster creativity and drive innovation; and
- improve the quality of the company’s decision-making.
When women in particular succeed, businesses – including ours – benefit even more.
Several studies, including a report in the Wall Street Journal last year, highlight the link between greater gender diversity on teams and in corporate management to more innovation and better financial performance. Closing the gender gap in science, many academics contend, has also led to better research and outcomes for patients.
Both of us have been strong proponents of mentoring, developing and advancing female leaders throughout our careers - not because it’s a nice thing to do, but rather it’s a business imperative -essential to driving better business results.
Bill, the father of two daughters, has experienced the positive impact of gender diversity on his commercial teams, including better collaboration, more thoughtful decision-making and a deeper understanding of both the customer experience and patient journey.
Elizabeth, who has both a daughter and son, is currently the executive sponsor of CSL’s Executive Edge program. The development initiative for both male and female senior leaders includes addressing gender-related challenges that still arise for women in leadership such as unconscious bias and developing an authentic leadership voice.
Embracing gender diversity doesn’t happen by accident and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We must be intentional about it and ensure we are collaborating both internally and externally.
At CSL Behring, we are committed to recruiting and retaining diverse talent. We have a robust talent strategy that has led to partnerships and recruiting efforts through several organizations, including the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Women in Bio; Women in Technology International and the Association for Women in Science to name just a few.
We can’t think of a better way to recognize International Women’s Day than by celebrating the important contributions women have made to our world and reflect on the successful strides women have made in business around the globe. This includes continuing to break into the boardroom, the executive suite and other leadership roles.
But International Women’s Day also serves to remind us that there’s still more to do. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual. For us, that means both men and women’s voices are needed in the pursuit of gender equity.
We must continue to foster inclusive teams in which women feel not only encouraged, but also empowered to enter traditionally male-dominated roles such as those in STEM fields or in revenue-producing areas of business. We can’t afford not to.
When women succeed, we all succeed.
Bill Campbell is the Chief Commercial Officer of CSL Behring.
Elizabeth Walker is the Chief Human Resources Officer of CSL Behring.