Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Award


For deeply embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of its business; and for linking the contributions of a diverse workforce to successful and global patient outcomes.

For more than 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. The company is unified around its purpose: to use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals.

Merck’s global diversity and inclusion strategy seeks to build a more globally diverse and inclusive workplace for employees by creating an environment of belonging. From the top down, the company promotes engagement, equity, and empowerment to help ensure patients experience positive health outcomes. One of Merck’s foundational pillars, Embrace Diversity and Inclusion, promotes talent acquisition, organizational well-being, and talent development as key drivers of its corporate culture.

The company is also committed to the leadership development and advancement of underrepresented groups across the enterprise. It is a signatory to Paradigm for Parity®, which aims to address the corporate leadership gender gap, and to the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles. Additionally, Merck has publicly announced new representation goals for increasing senior management roles for women, Black, and Latino/Latina/Latinx leaders by 2024, and for increasing senior management roles for women to 40%.

Merck is partnered with OneTen, a coalition of 55-plus companies and CEOs whose goal is to hire 1 million Black individuals over 10 years into family sustaining jobs and to be accountable for their ongoing retention, development, and advancement. Through OneTen, Merck is taking a new, skills-first hiring approach, emphasizing a person’s skills and competencies when hiring for appropriate roles rather than placing emphasis on whether candidates have university degrees.

Among Merck’s many internal DEI programs is its Women’s Sponsorship Program, which launched a Women’s Network Leadership Academy in 2021 to promote career development, personal branding, work/life balance, empowerment, self-leadership, building influence, and creating inclusive cultures. The program includes coaching from global external and internal experts and has been a resounding success with more than 2,000 attendees representing 70 countries at live virtual events.

Merck also shows a strong commitment to the Society of Women Engineers, joining the Corporate Partnership Council in 2019 and sponsoring 200 SWE memberships for its employees. In 2021, Merck launched the SWE at Merck steering committee with 10 leaders driving recruitment, advocacy and outreach, and professional development strategies. In partnership with its Women’s Network and Women in Science and Engineering chapter, recent accomplishments include five successful SWE annual conference workshops, three SWE award recipients, sponsorship of 300 Merck attendees at the past two SWE annual conferences, and the launch of Merck’s flagship Re-Invent returnship program.

Headquartered in Rahway, New Jersey, Merck has about 68,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries.