“Having been a member of LEAD Network since its foundation, I highly recommend and value its initiative. LEAD Network broadens my horizon through peer exchange, not only in leadership but also in consumer industry topics. Further, actively participating in the network motivates me on my journey as a female leader and inspires me to be a role model for other women.”
Johnson’s & Johnson’s Manbassador talks about escalating female leaders to reach new heights!
Interview with Trevor Bond
Can you tell us a bit about your organization?
Johnson & Johnson is a family of companies. It is unique in that it covers three broad areas of healthcare – consumer goods (Johnson & Johnson Consumer), pharmaceutical products (Janssen Pharmaceutical) and medical devices (Ethicon, DePuy). The company has been around for more than 130 years. Today, it is known for its iconic consumer products such as Johnson’s Baby shampoo, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Listerine, Tylenol, Calpol, Imodium, Nicorette and many more! Through our products and services we touch and improve more than 1 billion lives every day. That is an incredible honour and a responsibility.
Why is diversity, and specifically the advancement of women, so important to your organization?
The world we live in is diverse, our customers, consumers, patients are diverse and for us to truly be the best, offer the best, think the best, diversity in thought, being, culture is essential to innovate, be competitive and grow our business.
Women make up 50% of the population, they have tremendous purchasing power (in-store and on-line) and influencing power in terms of family, behaviour and household needs. In most families (certainly mine), women are the first point of care. So, ensuring women are well represented at all levels of an organization is essential. Even more so, at the top level, as this will create aspiration for women to see what they can achieve and what businesses they can drive.
Which diversity initiatives do you have in your organization?
- We have a Chief Diversity Officer and we have a diversity strategy that focusses on:
- Advancing a culture of inclusion and innovation. The inclusion aspect makes us unique. We are being deliberate about grounding inclusion in our every-day way of working and that includes learning, sharing experiences and embracing diverse communities. For example, we have a global Open & Out group for LGBT staff that has been well-established in the US. We are launching a UK chapter this year.
- Building a diverse workforce for the future.
- Enhancing business performance and reputation,
We have a very strong gender diversity group in EMEA who run women’s leadership forum’s bringing in successful female leaders from other organizations to hear their stories and learn from them. We also share the stories of internal J& leaders, both men and women, to demonstrate the criteria, attitude and experiences that can help escalate your career and help you achieve that next move. We’ve also run some training on unconscious bias and have a female leader mentorship/sponsorship programme. We also have a D&I Yammer group, and I have an EMEA Yammer platform, where people post about the D&I topic. In fact, there was a recent post about some key learnings about networking from the LEAD UK chapter meeting. All these efforts help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is to speed up female leadership development and get women to clinch the top positons sooner.
We are also looking at other diverse groups – for example hiring and developing talent from Emerging Markets such as Middle East, South Africa and Nigeria.
What role does LEAD play in reaching your organization’s diversity goals?
LEAD is a great forum for our organization to expose our rising star female leaders as well as established female leaders who have attained the top positions to knowledge, networking and meeting other accomplished leaders. It is also a forum for both men and women to build networks and understand how to drive change in our industry as we face collectively gender balance issues and bias.
What would you like your employees to take away from the LEAD network?
I really would like our employees to leverage the LEAD network. Go out there and meet and network with other diverse leaders – share experiences, challenge gender bias, or any other types of bias. Meet authentic leaders who’ve made it big by being themselves, by not conforming to a stereotype of what we think a leader should be like. And, we are always on the look-out for talent be it women or men.
I’d like to end with a few closing thoughts, things I’ve learnt from my 25+ years in business, and that may help you as you go on your leadership journey:
- Authenticy – it is essential to be yourself, don’t try to be someone else, they are already taken!
- Fear and risk – there is nothing to fear but fear itself and, if you don’t take risks, you don’t learn and grow. Progress is about innovating and changing, and to do that, you need to take bold risks.
- Confidence – confidence can take you a lot further than intellect. Know your stuff, be confident in what you know, covey it with conviction. Find your ‘own voice.’
- Feedback – all of us have a responsibility to point out bias and encourage inclusion.
- Performance and results – these are the hard facts, if your performance and results are stellar, everything else falls into place more easily.