Chief Diversity Officer

Celeste R. Warren
VP, Human Resources Global Diversity & Inclusion Center of Excellence

When I was asked to take on the leadership role of VP for the GD&I Center of Excellence, I knew immediately that diversity and inclusion (D&I) was a powerful business strategy capable of making significant impact on our mission of saving and improving lives. I understood and appreciated the undeniable business case for diversity and inclusion and the benefits companies realize when diverse perspectives are intentionally engaged. And I knew, without question, that the rapidly changing global workforce, rise of technology and digitization and incidence of certain chronic illnesses among diverse populations coupled with the competitive nature of our industry made it absolutely critical that we attract and retain the best and brightest diverse minds - bar none - to solve and innovate for the most pressing business problems. I was confident that we could truly win for our patients with diversity and inclusion as a business priority.

As a team, we at Merck have deepened our commitment to integrate diversity and inclusion throughout all aspects of our business to drive true competitive advantage. We use holistic best practices and implement our strategy to focus on establishing a strong foundation for D&I, fostering internal workforce and workplace excellence, driving external reputation, and achieving innovation through business integration.

Our focus on diversity and inclusion is proving powerful results on business performance.

Our current workforce is more diverse and global than at any point in our company's lengthy history. We want to mirror the market we serve and leverage the unique insights of our people to drive business results.

We pledged to advance D&I in the workplace through the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to D&I within the workplace.

In 2017 we were inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable, which recognizes and celebrates corporations who spend at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers.

Reducing health care disparities are business priorities and as a result we strive to achieve diversity in U.S. clinical trials.

Every year we host GD&I Experience Month – a month-long gathering and celebration of the D&I work of colleagues around the world which highlights the impact diversity and inclusion has on our employees and where we live and work.

We continue to invest in learning efforts to help all employees increase their awareness of unconscious biases and provide tools to help mitigate their impact on decision-making.

We are pleased to share that we support Paradigm for Parity — a call to action and model for gender equality. This movement of CEOs, business executives, board members and business academics are committed to achieving a new norm in corporate leadership: one in which women and men have equal power, status and opportunity. By signing on, we pledged to continue working with our colleagues and others across the globe, to establish parity in our own businesses. We pledged support because we believe these D&I goals are important…and attainable.

While there is still more work to be done, we are proud of what we have accomplished and energized about the future.