Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs
Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs0
Genentech Leadership for Executive Advancement and Development (gLEAD)
Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs1
Asian Leadership Academy (ALA)
Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs2
Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs3
Asian Leadership Academy (ALA)
Advancing Diverse Talent through Executive Leadership Programs4
Asian Leadership Academy (ALA)

Learn how innovative leadership programs are driving change with Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, and Asian leaders.

Diverse leaders bring a variety of perspectives that help us better understand and serve patients.

By 2025, Genentech aims to double Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx representation at senior levels of the company and ensure that Asian employees are just as prevalent in senior leadership positions as they are in managerial and individual contributor roles.

In 2022, we launched two new workplace programs that are purpose-built to further equip diverse leaders for greater impact across the enterprise and industry, by providing networking opportunities, leadership training and a series of events designed to foster community among participants and senior executives, including members of the Genentech Executive Committee (GEC), such as Chief Executive Officer Alexander Hardy; Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Ed Harrington; Chief People Officer Cori Davis, Ph.D.; Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary and Head of Legal Affairs Sean Johnston, Ph.D., J.D.; and Senior Vice President and Head of Genentech Public Affairs and Access Fritz Bittenbender.

When Tamicka James, Senior Director and Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) for U.S. Commercial, Medical, Government Affairs (CMG), led the creation of Genentech Leadership for Executive Advancement and Development program (gLEAD), she had two clear aims: accelerate the careers of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx director-level leaders into executive roles, and ensure they felt they belonged.

James partnered with Columbia Business School to design curriculum delivered by world-renowned leaders and Ivy League faculty. It's packed with information and practical training, including discussions about the systemic barriers marginalized communities face when trying to advance.

Erica Taylor, Ph.D., Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, CMG, was in the inaugural class and said gLEAD was a breath of fresh air. "I had developed a bit of cynicism," she says. "Professional development programs are well intended, but a lot of them take the posture of 'let us fix you so that then we can develop you.'" Taylor's experience, however, was more like networking with leaders across the enterprise.

The program is also meant to be a departure from a common experience that underrepresented leaders have: being the only or one of a few such leaders in the room. For that reason, the first gLEAD module was held in-person at Columbia. Without that, "I don't think we could have really appreciated that this was the first time most of the 29 participants had been in the room with people who looked like them, who were experiencing the same challenges. One person shared it was the first time in her 30-year career that she felt like she belonged. There was not a dry eye in the room," says James.

ALA: Creating Pathways for Asian Leaders

The Asian Leadership Academy (ALA) was created to pave pathways to managerial and executive roles for Asian leaders. For Li Xiong, Ph.D., a Staff Packaging Engineer in Pharma Technical Operations (PT), participating in ALA was a revelation about professional possibilities.

A promotion to his current role last year, and participation in ALA, has expanded his view and has given him confidence in his new role.

The ALA program was established in conjunction with consulting firm McKinsey & Co. In the program's first year, ALA participants worked through self-paced leadership development modules and participated in teamwork exercises and in-person events.

Xiong, who was one of 46 people in his inaugural class, notes that anyone who meets the criteria for ALA can apply. He says this impressed him because at other companies, admission to professional development programs often requires a manager nomination, which might exclude underrepresented communities from consideration and could be a barrier to advancement.

"The company isn't treating D&I like a checkbox exercise," says Xiong. "It's actually taking concrete actions to achieve the 2025 Commitments and is genuinely helping the Asian community." This, in turn, will help leaders like him better serve underrepresented communities, a mission he says "gives me a sense of belonging."

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