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DEI as a Strategic Imperative

DEI as a Strategic Imperative

Our approach to DEI at Johnson & Johnson is continually evolving, just as the world evolves, with perceptions and priorities changing in response to social, political, demographic and other dynamics. At its core, DEI has always been embedded in our way of life at Johnson & Johnson. Over the years, we have sharpened our focus, better articulated our approach and developed stronger tools to lead, manage and monitor our performance and impact. In 2017, we launched our first global DEI strategy that has enabled us to align our focus on DEI and embed a vision, mission and definition that resonated globally. In 2018, we updated Our Credo to reinforce our commitment to DEI with the words: “We must provide an inclusive work environment where each person must be considered as an individual. We must respect their diversity and dignity and recognize their merit.” In 2020, Johnson & Johnson launched Our Race to Health Equity to help eradicate health inequities for people of color, following the year’s events that spotlighted how racism and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated inequitable access to healthcare. In 2021, we evolved our DEI strategy to further power our progress in the coming years.

Our DEI milestones

Learn more about how DEI has shaped our story.

Our Evolved Enterprise DEI Strategy

We firmly believe that DEI is both a moral and business imperative. DEI accelerates our ability to meet the changing needs of the communities we serve as we deliver Our Purpose to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. The COVID-19 global pandemic and recognition of racial and social injustices has changed the world forever. Patients, consumers, employees and shareholders are demanding greater transparency and accountability to accelerate progress around DEI.

Research consistently shows that companies with diverse leadership and inclusive cultures deliver superior performance across a range of metrics, including profitability, innovation and other business outcomes.

Companies in the top quartile for diversity are more likely to outperform their peers:2

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Outperformance with executive-level gender diversity
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Outperformance with executive-level ethnic diversity

Diverse and inclusive companies are:3

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more likely to achieve better business outcomes
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more likely to be innovative and agile
more likely to meet or exceed financial goals

In a multifaceted and inclusive process, we used internal and external insights to help us understand how our employees are experiencing our culture. We held workshops to explore new ideas and partnered with Johnson & Johnson leaders to co-create a refreshed strategic framework. Building on our progress, our evolved DEI strategy focuses on ensuring current global and local relevance, recognizing the evolving needs of our global workforce and better integrating equity across our Company. Each of the four pillars within our evidenced-based strategy is intentionally interconnected.

  • We will continue to accelerate our global culture of inclusion to make sure every individual belongs, with a focus on developing deeper insights to understand country level needs. We want to continue to strengthen inclusive leadership competencies at all levels of the organization.
  • It’s important that we continue to focus on representation. We’ve shifted our language from “build a diverse workforce,” to say we will build a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities.” This change has resonated internally as it reflects that every employee, no matter what background or experience they bring to Johnson & Johnson, is valued and represented. 
  • It’s critical that we continue to connect DEI to our businesses to drive innovation and growth. We must understand the diverse needs of the patients, customers and consumers that we serve around the world—so that we can develop healthcare solutions for all communities and connect with them in meaningful and relevant ways.
  • We added a new strategic pillar focused on transforming talent and business processes to achieve equitable access and outcomes for all. We aim to accelerate action against this strategic pillar in several ways, for example, through Our Race to Health Equity to advance equity in healthcare, and through disrupting and reimagining our talent and business systems. Emphasizing equity as a priority throughout our Company encourages a fairer, more collaborative, and more inclusive cultural environment conducive to producing positive workplace and business outcomes—for employees and for our organization.

Our evolved enterprise DEI Strategy is aligned to our DEI Vision and Mission and rests on four core pillars.

Johnson & Johnson 2021 Enterprise DEI Strategy graphic

The DEI strategy is supported by systems, tools, data and analytics, technology, and communications that are deployed throughout our organization. We leverage internal and external partnerships across the four pillars to drive progress.

Learn more about our DEI Policy

Setting the Tone at the Top

DEI isn’t just owned by the Global Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or by our Human Resources organization—it belongs to everyone at Johnson & Johnson. It is everyone’s responsibility. Organizational leaders set the tone—making it a priority to engage with senior leadership for their support and alignment on demonstrating their commitment while ensuring all levels of the organization understand that DEI is a priority. DEI leadership operates within a defined governance structure that clarifies responsibilities and assigns accountability for taking action and achieving results.

Our Chief Executive Officer and Executive Committee set a consistent direction through their leadership and engagement in advancing DEI, including quarterly reviews of DEI performance. Twice a year, the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors reviews DEI progress and performance.

Integrating DEI Across our Enterprise

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Our Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) is responsible for the development and integration of our DEI global strategy. The Global Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion led by our CDEIO drives the strategic direction of DEI across the Enterprise and is accountable for the implementation of our policies, programs and practices.

    • The key elements that help ensure we deliver our DEI Mission, vision and strategy include:
      • Our Credo & Our Leadership Imperatives that set a standard for our employees and people leaders to engage and work across our enterprise, underpinning a culture of inclusion
      • DEI goals that link to compensation, support accountability for performance across the Enterprise
      • Our formal DEI Governance Policy & Process that provides guidance and risk mitigation, and ensures that teams leverage experts and resources that align with our DEI Strategy as they invest in DEI
    • Dedicated teams within our Human Resources organization that focus on hiring, developing and retaining diverse representation across our Company
    • Our enterprise-wide biennial Our Voice Survey, used to measure our culture of inclusion, including how our employees feel heard, valued and respected, and free to be their authentic selves. In 2021, 91% of active employees participated in the survey. In alternate years, the Our Credo Survey provides a measure of employee sentiment and feeling of being connected to our colleagues and our values.
    • Transparent reporting on progress through the publication of our annual Health for Humanity Report, supplemented by the DEI Impact Review
    Our Leadership Imperatives graphic

    Our Leadership Imperatives

    DEI and ESG: Partnering to Accelerate Change 

    In our rapidly changing world, our commitment to DEI matters today more than ever. We have a responsibility to drive change within Johnson & Johnson and around the world. Recognizing the demands of the market, we have enhanced our accountability and transparency significantly. In fact, we have publicly committed to five DEI Health for Humanity 2025 Goals and are now reporting on our first year of progress.

    Our DEI strategy is the outcome of an extensive process to understand the opportunities, needs and challenges for our people and our business from a DEI perspective. Clearly, it does not work in a vacuum. It builds on the values of Our Credo and aligns with Johnson & Johnson’s internal and external sustainability priorities, supporting progress toward Our Purpose of profoundly changing the trajectory of health for humanity in the following ways:

    Contributing to the Johnson & Johnson Enterprise ESG Strategy:

    The Enterprise Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategy is built around three focus areas:

    Champion global health equity
    Fostering better health for people, communities and the planet and improving access and affordability around the world
    Empower our employees
    Cultivating a workforce that is healthy, inspired and reflective of those we serve
    Advance environmental health
    Protecting environmental health and the resilience of our business

    These focus areas are underpinned by a foundation to lead with accountability and innovation—a commitment to science and data-driven decision making, compliance, integrity and responsible business practices across the value chain.

    Our DEI Strategy is in alignment with Johnson & Johnson’s ESG Strategy. DEI is based on our values and supports our business objectives. All our DEI priorities advance different aspects of the Enterprise ESG Strategy, from enabling people to feel they belong to helping drive equity in healthcare for our patients and our consumers.
    Sharon Fronabarger
    Head of DEI Global Center of Excellence, Johnson & Johnson

    Advancing the Health for Humanity 2025 Goals:

    In 2021, Johnson & Johnson published a set of 21 ESG goals informed by priorities identified through engagement with a range of internal and external stakeholders. DEI has always been a central part of our ESG approach, and these Health for Humanity 2025 Goals now explicitly include five DEI-inspired goals that our entire organization will help deliver. Our DEI Strategy and action plans are designed to support Johnson & Johnson and our overall achievement of these goals.

    Health for Humanity 2025 Goals

    Women in Management
    By 2025, achieve 50% of women in management positions* globally.
    Women in STEM²D
    By 2025, engage two million girls in STEM2D activities.**
    Ethnic/Racial Diversity in Management
    By 2025, achieve 35% ethnic/racial diversity in management positions* within the U.S.
    Global Supplier Diversity and Inclusion
    By 2025, achieve $4.5 billion Global Impact Spend with small and diverse suppliers, representing a 20% increase from 2020.
    Black/African Americans in Management
    By 2025, achieve 50% growth of our Black and African American employees in management positions* in the U.S.


    *“Employee” is defined as an individual working full-time or part-time, excluding fixed-term employees, interns and co-op employees. Employee data may not include full population from more recently acquired companies, and individuals on long-term disability are excluded. Contingent workers, contractors and subcontractors are also excluded. Fixed-term contracts make up less than 5% of total employees plus individuals on fixed-term contracts. Johnson & Johnson is not currently able to disclose the number of individuals on fixed-term contracts in 2021. We are working to make this information available in future. Management positions are defined as pay grade 30 and above. In the U.S. and ethnic/racial diversity groups include: Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Other Ethnic Racial Diversity (2+ More Races, NH/PI, AN/AI) employees.

    **This may include multiple engagements with the same girl.

    Furthering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

    The SDGs of the United Nations were established in 2015 as an agenda to advance global prosperity by 2030. Business enterprises can contribute to and accelerate achieving the SDGs through their business practices. Overall, Johnson & Johnson contributes directly to 11 of the 17 SDGs. Specifically, our DEI Strategy aims to drive positive outcomes as envisioned by five SDGs.

    Learn more

    Johnson & Johnson sustainable development goals

    Measuring Progress in DEI

    Investors, business partners, patients and consumers are demanding greater corporate transparency and accountability to address inequities and drive DEI progress. We maintain systems that expand DEI accountability for leaders across Johnson & Johnson to live the values of Our Credo and drive measurable change. During the year, and as part of our regular business activities and controls, we monitor and measure our progress in a variety of ways, including:

    • Health for Humanity 2025 Goals: We report publicly and transparently on our progress in our annual Health for Humanity Report, together with a full set of performance data covering DEI impact, which are externally verified and assured.
    • Compliance and equal opportunity: We maintain strict vigilance regarding how we adhere to laws and regulations governing employment and DEI-related matters globally. 
    • Regular internal reporting: We provide our leaders with talent development and diversity metrics on a regular cadence so they can assess progress and accelerate action where required.
    • DEI Goal setting and performance reviews: All people leaders around the organization set DEI Goals and are held accountable for achieving them. In our year-end performance review process, people leaders’ performance is assessed against DEI Goals, and tools and resources are provided to assist leaders in improving their performance.   
    • Listening to employee insights: Our annual surveys assessing employee engagement and Our Credo values provide a wealth of information for our people leaders about how our employees feel heard, valued and respected. Data-driven insights are also provided to support action planning for improvement. A subset of responses is aggregated to form the Inclusion Index—a composite measure of how our people leaders are delivering a culture of inclusion. The Inclusion Index is included as part of our Vice President (VP) DEI Scorecard (see section: Holding People Leaders Accountable) and influences overall VP-level performance assessment and compensation. 
    • External recognition: Benchmarking our performance with our peers and the broader universe of business enterprises is important to Johnson & Johnson as another reflection of the impact we make through DEI. We are frequently honored to receive awards for our DEI programs and achieve high rankings from multiple rating organizations.

    2 Vivian Hunt, et al., “Delivering through Diversity,” McKinsey & Company, January 2018,

    3 Juliet Bourke, Which Two Heads Are Better Than One? How Diverse Teams Create Breakthrough Ideas and Make Smarter Decisions (Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2016)

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