D&I: Roche is leveraging every individual's unique powers to change the lives of patients and transform society.

Take a moment to reflect on the type of work environment you feel most comfortable in. When do you feel involved and/or valued?

Proactively involving our colleagues creates a stronger sense of belonging that leads to better performance and creates teams that are both more efficient and more innovative. Establishing a culture that encourages us to express our own opinions, question the status quo and develop new ideas is crucial to achieving our goals. We produce our best work and are able to develop if we are in an environment in which we can be ourselves. Roche is an organisation that sets ambitious goals reflecting its own aspirations. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) acts as a catalyst for innovation. Only when all aspects of diversity have been factored in can the collective potential of the entire workforce be harnessed to develop new ideas. It is therefore particularly important for people to be able to work in an environment of mutual esteem, respect, openness and tolerance.

At Roche, diversity means the visible and invisible differences that exist between all people, while inclusion is used to describe a culture in which everyone is respected, belongs and can develop.

What started off many years ago as an initiative by a number of dedicated individuals led in 2011 to official D&I goals and has now developed into a strategic approach. During 2021, the topic was included in the Roche Ten-Year Ambitions, while in December 2021, Roche's Corporate Executive Committee (CEC) agreed to support the first Group-wide strategy.

At Basel/Kaiseraugst as elsewhere, Roche is reliant on the support of the entire workforce to help transform its ambitions into reality.

Opinions on D&I:

Valentina Masi, D&I VUCA network and member of the D&I SQUAD:

Our goal is simple. We want to make sure that everyone at Roche can be themselves, produce their best work and develop as individuals. Why should we have to be different people at work than we are at home? We are keen to build up a workforce that reflects the diversity in our society so that we can help drive positive change within it. Each and every one of us can do our part in helping the D&I strategy take tangible shape and in sustaining it. Mahatma Gandhi once said "Be the change that you wish to see in the world," a principle that we can all apply to our work environment.

Andreas Claus Kistner, D&I OPEN network and member of the D&I SQUAD:

Innovation is driven by people's different experiences, backgrounds and mindsets. Homogeneous groups rarely come up with new ideas. So diversity within the company is essential to innovation. That's why I'm committed to a diverse workforce – so that we can have precisely that sort of innovation.

Valerie Ernst, D&I expert, EMEA:

All our lives, we have different experiences in both our professional and private lives. These experiences vary so tremendously because we are not all exposed to abuse or discrimination to the same extent, we grow up differently and are socialised in different cultures, we think and act differently by virtue of our views, convictions and perceptions. It is a fundamental truth that as individuals we are all different, and it is up to all of us to recognise diversity as an opportunity and harness it as a valuable resource.

At Roche we need to create an environment in which everyone feels welcome and included and can contribute their own stories. Until we have done so, we have to learn how to consider the perspectives of everyone who does not yet have a seat at the table and make sure they are included. If we proactively decide to be inclusive, we will be creating space for the diverse experiences of others, learning to see the world through different eyes and expanding our horizons. Diversity helps us all develop both as individuals and collectively. It is therefore important for us to have diversity and inclusion enshrined in the Roche 10-Year Ambitions and to be able to drive the issue forwards by means of a global strategy. It is a clear signal from the company that we want to approach things in a more progressive way so that our organisation reflects society in all its diversity. Only if we ask ourselves new questions as a community can we find new approaches that will enable us to do things better by pursuing different avenues.

Written by Petra Welter, Site Representative Basel