• Taylor Hendrickson

Newday Portfolio Diversity & Inclusion: Eli Lilly and Company


Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly)—a pharmaceutical company in our Animal Welfare portfolio—is helping to solve the United States’ two global crises: As Lilly tests COVID-19 antibody treatments and provides financial relief for vulnerable patients, the company continues to stand out as a longstanding global leader in corporate diversity and inclusion.


Lilly pledged $25 million to fund solutions for racial inequity and social injustice, focusing in Indianapolis—its headquarters city of 144 years—but also planning to fund programs in outward counties and the nation. They additionally pledged 25,000 employee volunteer hours over 5 years to support cultural understanding and equity within and outside of the company. In conjunction with these concrete commitments, the company hosted an Internal Lilly Day of Solidarity followed by a community-wide Indy Day of Solidarity with a viewable virtual event.


Lilly’s allegiance with racial equity isn’t new despite trending reactions by businesses across the United States. Lilly ranks No. 3 on Diversity Inc.'s Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2020, which is calculated upon hundreds of data points on a company’s systems, processes, and people metrics. Their high-rank follows years of iteration and goal-setting, first hitting the list in 2011 at No. 39 and climbing to No.16 in 2017, to No.6 in 2018, and to No.5 in 2019.


Metric-based solutions strengthen the efficacy of its internal training programs, according to Lilly’s Chief Diversity Officer, Joy Fitzgerald. Representation goals are measured on a quarterly basis and yearly goals are set.


Taking a process Lilly uses to better understand what patients experience when ill and adapting it to understand women’s experiences at the company increased the number of women in leadership positions. Over 400 women participated in the program. Between 2015 to 2017, women of color at the senior director level increased from 6% to 11% in their U.S. workforce. Between December 2016 to August 2019, women in management rose to 44% from 38% and women reporting to the CEO rose to 38% from 29%.


But it’s not all data analysis and quotas at the pharmaceutical company: Storytelling and peer-support are integral to fostering psychological safety at the company. In one research program called “Employee Journeys”, improved solutions arose from listening to the lived, individual experiences of employees over mass problem-solving for nuanced identities.


In the past, Lilly has spoken out against unjust legislation for the LGBTQ+ community and has been voted one of the best places to work in 2020 for LGBTQ equality.


This commentary is provided for information purposes only, is not tailored to any particular individual’s financial situation or investment objective, and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any product or service. Unless otherwise stated, all information and opinion contained in this publication were produced by Newday Financial Technologies, Inc. (“Newday”) and other sources believed by Newday to be accurate and reliable. Due to rapidly changing market conditions and the complexity of investment decisions, supplemental information and other sources may be required to make informed investment decisions based on your individual investment objectives and suitability specifications. All expressions of opinions of the financial markets, general investment strategy, or particular investments or recommendations to clients are subject to change without notice. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any security or investment strategy discussed or recommended in this report and should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. Past performance does not guarantee future performance.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

© Newday Financial Technologies, Inc 2020