Supporting Equitable Professional Development

Johnson & Johnson maintains a wide range of personal and professional development programs that we leverage to advance equitable access to opportunities and to accelerate the progress and career development of top talent across our business.

Our established development programs include RISE, a comprehensive accelerator designed for mid-level aspiring leaders with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and ASCEND, which is focused on building the leadership strengths of high-potential women across the organization. Alongside our development programs, we provide mentorship and sponsorship programs that pair mid-level managers with senior leaders to help them advance.

We take a conscious and proactive approach to creating a workplace that offers opportunities to all, ensuring that we intentionally work to remove barriers to entry and provide targeted support for employees from underrepresented communities. Overall, we invest heavily in helping our employees grow and develop, as we believe that we are at our strongest as an organization when all individuals can contribute at the height of their potential.

EJ Henry

Head of DEI Practice, J&J Learn, Johnson & Johnson

Learn more about Johnson & Johnson’s development programs, including those designed for diverse groups

Tailored Development for LGBTQIA+ Employees

In 2022 we introduced, as an initiative of our Open&Out Employee Resource Group (ERG), a Global Talent Development Program designed to meet the specific needs of LGBTQIA+ employees at Johnson & Johnson. The program is designed to enrich personal leadership habits and performance and support networking with LGBTQIA+ employees in other companies. The first cohort of employees commenced in mid-2022, and all participants were invited to attend the ninth annual OutNEXT Summit hosted by Open&Out in 2022, connecting LGBTQIA+ colleagues from across the Johnson & Johnson world.

One thing I took away from the OutNEXT summit is that people from the LGBTQIA+ community have similar shared experiences that, when embraced, can become strengths. For example, we all ‘read the room’ for psychological safety every time we walk in. Because of the challenges we have faced, we have the ability to lead authentically and with empathy for others. This is our ‘OUTvantage.’

Emad Zanati

Global Marketing Manager, Industry & Customer Engagement Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Vision and co-chair of the Johnson & Johnson Orange County, CA chapter of Open&Out

Developing High-Performing Managers

Our Enterprise Sponsorship Program began in 2016, and is designed to support high-performing, high-potential talent from underrepresented groups to build relationships that accelerate their development. This program sets up reciprocal relationships between sponsees and senior leader sponsors, who champion movement and provide opportunities for visibility. This differentiated development program has created a profound impact, in large part due to the motivated participants who choose to take part.

Executive Sponsorship by the Numbers in 2022

82 %

sponsees were women

35 %

of U.S. sponsees represented ethnic or racially diverse groups


sponsees engaged in the program

76 %

experienced positive career movement within two years of the program

Creating Opportunities for Women in STEM

We work to encourage girls to consider science, technology, engineering, mathematics, manufacturing and design (STEM2D) studies and career opportunities. We believe that advancing gender equality in technical professions will both strengthen society and build a stronger pipeline of talent in under-resourced STEM2D-related professions, critical to advancing innovation in healthcare.

Through our Health for Humanity 2025 Goals, which include a specific target to reach two million girls through STEM2D activities led by Johnson & Johnson employees in partnership with nonprofit partners, we encourage our employees to play an active role in engaging to advance women in science.

Did you know?

In 2022, more than 1,500 Johnson & Johnson employee volunteers directly engaged in STEM2D activities with approximately 169,500 girls.

  • Our Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design (WiSTEM2D) initiative, which has been active since 2015, supports youth, undergraduates, scholars and professionals. Examples of its impact include our WiSTEM2D Youth Pillar, where we seek to spark enchantment with STEM2D in young women and girls all around the globe through creative problem-solving and play.
  • In our WiSTEM2D Undergraduate program, we collaborated with nearly 70 universities, delivering more than 140 events and reaching more than 23,000 university students through a variety of activities and social media campaigns. We also launched a WiSTEM2D Camp, a weeklong pilot program in Europe, to give students an opportunity to explore post-secondary options in STEM2D fields, an initiative we plan to extend to 2023. Further, we expanded our WiSTEM2D program in our Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.
  • In our WiSTEM2D Scholars program, we again selected six outstanding female researchers to receive support to drive their important research. This program has been active since 2017, selecting early to mid-career women faculty researchers, who have completed their post-doctoral studies and are making key STEM2D discoveries, to each receive a grant of $150,000 and three years of mentorship. In 2022, we received over 500 applications from highly qualified nominees around the world, with more than 75% of applicants coming from outside the U.S. The selected WiSTEM2D 2022 scholars are advancing pivotal global innovations across diverse fields with an aim to significantly improve healthcare outcomes.
Dr. Ange Therese Akono (photo)

Dr. Ange Therese Akono, a 2022 WiSTEM2D Scholars awardee, is working in bone tissue regenerative engineering, with a focus on discovering nanostructured bone scaffolds to help restore the quality of life of patients who require maxillofacial bone repairs.

Creating Opportunities for Young Black People in STEM

Johnson & Johnson UK’s STEM Scholars Programme is a 5-year initiative that aims to empower Black students of STEM in London to fulfill their dreams, regardless of their ethnicity, background or circumstances. The program supports 25 school students for two years, and a cohort of these students for a further three years, including a paid internship, during their time at university. As part of the program, students are matched with a Johnson & Johnson mentor, who supports them on their STEM Scholar journey. Since January 2022, students have taken part in three virtual monthly workshops to build their understanding of the healthcare industry and STEM opportunities to help them pursue their chosen career.

Creating Opportunities for Youth in Under-resourced Communities

To help prepare future leaders, we work with students, starting in the 10th grade, through our community outreach programs. For example, over the past 25 years, we have helped to prepare high school students in under-resourced communities for college through our Bridge to Employment initiative, which engages employees as mentors to help secondary school students improve academic performance and elevate their career aspirations. The extension program, Pathway to Success, helps students succeed and thrive in higher education, providing additional support and full-time paid summer internships at Johnson & Johnson (14 internships in 2022).

Building a Diverse Technician Workforce

The Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (JJVC) site in Limerick, Ireland is one of the largest contact lens manufacturing facilities in the world. In 2022, the team sought to increase the gender diversity of the technical workforce, by establishing a manufacturing technician Apprenticeship Program, which combines 70% on-the-job training and 30% formal learning. Working with the MedTech Association of Ireland and a cross-industry consortium, JJVC supported the launch of a three-year Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering, and a two-year National Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering, to provide formal learning as part of the Apprenticeship Program.

The Apprenticeship Program has been a game changer for Vision Care in Ireland, enabling the company to build a diverse future pipeline of early in career talent. We are proud that over 44 technicians have graduated from the program, and currently 30% of the participants are female.

John Lynch

Site Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Ireland