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Our Community

Biogen attracts some of the world’s leading scientific minds – individuals who are passionate about improving health outcomes for people around the world, supporting local communities, encouraging the next generation of scientists and making a global impact.

As members of the Biogen team, we empower these passionate individuals to build rewarding careers and we foster a culture of learning that pushes them to take initiative and seek growth opportunities. We are especially proud of our efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace and to advance women in leadership roles.

These are a few of the reasons why the employee engagement category results from our 2018 People Survey – covering 2017 – surpass industry benchmarks by an average of 18 percentage points.

We are also dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and to being agents of positive change in the community. These are the aspirations behind our employee volunteerism, the grants made through the Biogen Foundation and our Community Lab, which, since its inception, has given more than 45,000 students a hands-on introduction to the wonders of science.

Caring deeply. Working fearlessly. Changing lives.™ This isn’t just a corporate philosophy, it’s something our employees live every day.

  Our Community

Biogen attracts some of the world’s leading scientific minds – individuals who are passionate about improving health outcomes for people around the world, supporting local communities, encouraging the next generation of scientists and making a global impact.

As members of the Biogen team, we empower these passionate individuals to build rewarding careers and we foster a culture of learning that pushes them to take initiative and seek growth opportunities. We are especially proud of our efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace and to advance women in leadership roles.

These are a few of the reasons why the employee engagement category results from our 2018 People Survey – covering 2017 – surpass industry benchmarks by an average of 18 percentage points.

We are also dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and to being agents of positive change in the community. These are the aspirations behind our employee volunteerism, the grants made through the Biogen Foundation and our Community Lab, which, since its inception, has given more than 45,000 students a hands-on introduction to the wonders of science.

Caring deeply. Working fearlessly. Changing lives.™ This isn’t just a corporate philosophy, it’s something our employees live every day.

Our Focus

Workplace Community

Our employees are inspired by people who live with what can often be debilitating diseases. It’s a powerful motivator knowing that everyone at Biogen – from scientific research to procurement, from manufacturing to distribution – is part of making a difference in patients’ lives.

This shows in the results of our 2018 People Survey – covering 2017 – which found that 89 percent of employees are proud to work for Biogen, exceeding the industry benchmark by 24 percentage points, and that 93 percent of employees said our customers should feel confident about the quality of our products and services, beating that industry benchmark by 15 percentage points.

Our employees are not only passionate about how their work improves lives, they are engaged across a broad range of topics to improve our company’s work and role in their communities.

In 2017 we launched a pilot aimed at employee engagement around key issues, including health and wellness, environment and product and process improvements. These “ourIMPACT” teams tackle issues ranging from reducing energy use in laboratories to advancing green chemistry to bringing healthier and more climate-friendly meals into Biogen’s cafeterias.

Talent Acquisition & Retention

Our success depends on our ability to attract, develop and retain exceptional talent – people who embrace our mission of positively impacting the lives of patients. To produce cutting-edge therapies, we must encourage innovative thinking, promote diversity and inclusion and foster a culture that protects the health and safety of our people. And we do.

Two examples of programs that show how we support and internally recognize behaviors that are linked to our commitments are the Biogen BIG Champions of Inclusion and our annual Environmental, Health, Safety, Sustainability + Human Performance (EHS+S/Hu) Awards. In 2017 we received 75 nominations for the EHS+S/Hu Awards submitted by employees around the world. Award winners were both individuals and teams across our global operations, and they were recognized in four categories: BeWell, BeSafe, BeSustainable and BeResilient.

In addition to creating an environment that enables our people to thrive at work, we strive to support their ability to find the balance between work activity and the other parts of their lives.

Learn more about our talent philosophy: https://www.biogen.com/en_us/working-at-biogen.html

Diversity & Inclusion: From Our Employees to Patient Communities

Diversity in all forms is a key to our success. Different perspectives make us stronger as a business, build a healthier society and have allowed us to bring groundbreaking solutions to patients.

Our diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy touches every facet of our business, focusing on three key components: expanding workforce diversity; improving health outcomes for underserved global patient populations; and developing a sustainable, diverse supplier base.

Diversity is essential in our business and is one of the keys to understanding the complex and varied needs of the patient communities who use our medicines. For example, nearly two-thirds of patients in two of our disease focus areas – MS and Alzheimer’s disease – are women. And the majority of caregivers are also women.

As a company, we must understand how to meet the needs of a patient community that is largely women, which is one reason why we focus on women in leadership roles throughout Biogen. We also believe that working towards gender parity at all levels of our company is critical to innovation. One way we focus on this is through our Women’s Leadership Program, a partnership with Babson College that cultivates high potential entrepreneurial women leaders. Women comprise half of our global employee population and hold 43 percent of Biogen’s director-level and above positions.  

In addition, nearly 22 percent of Biogen’s U.S. management (director-level and above) are ethnic or racial minorities. High potential mid-career underrepresented minorities participate in The Partnership, Inc.’s BioDiversity Fellows Program, supporting our efforts to build our talent pipeline with a rich and diverse mix of leaders.

Finally, Biogen remains committed to taking actions to ensure all employees feel supported in the workplace. In 2017 Biogen was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) as a “Best Place to Work for the LGBT community,” earning a score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index. Biogen also obtained 90% on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), which benchmarked the organization on disability inclusion processes and practices.

Employee Resource Networks

Our Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) are internal groups for employees of shared characteristics, life experiences and interests. These networks provide opportunities to share knowledge, find mentors and receive support, all of which can be invaluable for career development. Allies, supporters and all those interested in helping to advance inclusion are welcome to join any ERN. Close to 30 percent of our global workforce is a member of one or more ERN.

Our current networks include:

  • AccessAbility, which highlights our commitments to employees with disabilities and employees who are caretakers of individuals with disabilities.
  • Biogen Veterans Network, which provides opportunities for veterans and supporters of U.S. veterans to connect.
  • Women’s Innovation Network, which creates networking, mentoring and learning opportunities for more than 1,200 members worldwide.
  • ReachOUT, which embraces LGBTQ employees and their straight allies. This program supports a best-in-class working environment for LGBTQ employees.
  • Mosaic, which focuses on multiculturalism and fostering awareness of and appreciation for different cultural backgrounds while promoting networking and development opportunities for members.

Learn more about our diversity & inclusion principles.

Workplace Health & Safety

Everybody at Biogen has a role to play in creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. We work hard to reduce risk and prevent injuries and other types of incidents. Our employees are accountable for working safely, whether they spend most of their days in a lab, in a manufacturing plant, at a desk or in a car. We expect them to consider not just their own well-being but that of their colleagues while working and to adhere to policies and procedures aimed at also protecting surrounding communities.

This ties into our Human Performance approach, formally launched in 2015, which promotes proactive risk management. One part of that approach is to ensure employees are engaged in the design of their work and their workplaces so that their jobs can be performed in ways that are safer and more effective.

Because health and safety are important, we consistently track our performance to monitor our progress. In 2017 our Days Away Case Rate (DACR), a measure of the frequency of work-related illnesses and injuries leading to an absence from work, decreased 73 percent to 0.05, down from 0.19 in 2016. Our target is to achieve a best-in-industry DACR by 2019. Our Total Injury and Illness Rate also fell from 0.39 in 2016 to 0.22 in 2017. Both are our best performance ever.

The Biogen Foundation

The Biogen Foundation focuses on two core areas: science education and strengthening our communities. As a result, the Biogen Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofit organizations that focus on four areas: providing access to hands-on science education, teacher development in science, college readiness and support and basic social needs (child hunger, poverty and social mobility). All of these support our desire for young people to know that, through science, they have the ability to change the world.

For example, the Biogen Foundation recently launched the STAR Initiative – a coordinated funding strategy, investing $10 million over four years – designed to help catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Somerville, Massachusetts. STAR – which stands for Science, Teacher support, Access and Readiness – is intended to strengthen and support the educational landscapes in these cities by helping increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for students most underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways.

In addition to the grants the Biogen Foundation makes on its own behalf, it also matches Biogen employee gifts to nonprofit organizations, up to $25,000 per U.S. employee, per year. In 2017 the matching grant program contributed $1.7 million to worthy organizations ranging from groups that fight disease to camps for children with serious illnesses to disaster relief efforts around the world.

Community Lab

Community Lab is a state-of-the-art facility where middle and high school students engage in hands-on biotechnology experiments and interact with scientists and other research professionals. Our mission is to get more young people excited about science and increase their knowledge of the wide array of career opportunities in the biotech industry.

Students get exposure to real-world experiments in DNA, gene mutation, drug testing and more while interacting with Biogen employees. We work with local schools to focus on concepts that they are already teaching in their classrooms, allowing students to make connections between their studies and the work we do every day at Biogen.

In addition to the one-day programs for students during the academic year, Biogen also hosts week-long, intensive lab programs over the summer months. Since 2002 more than 45,000 students have participated in Biogen’s Community Lab programs at our Cambridge and Research Triangle Park locations, including 5,133 in 2017.

Community Engagement

Our commitment to making a positive impact in the world includes locations that are close to home: the communities in which we operate. Every year, we ask our employees to join us for Care Deeply Day, when employees participate in community service projects serving meals to the homeless, participating in park clean-ups, fixing up youth centers, tending community gardens and providing support at animal shelters and senior centers. At our 2017 Care Deeply Day, over 2,600 employees in 26 countries supported over 60 volunteer projects.

Spotlight Stories

Community Lab: Introducing Middle School Students to the World of Science

What’s one of the best ways to get kids excited about science? Have kids actually do science. That’s what we discovered over 15 years ago at the Community Lab, our dedicated laboratory classrooms that host middle and high school students for day-long and week-long sessions during the school year and summer. The Community Lab also hosts teacher professional development programs to support science learning.

Between our two labs in Cambridge, MA and Research Triangle Park, NC, more than 45,000 students have conducted experiments using the same equipment that is used to discover new and innovative medicines in Biogen laboratories.

In 2017 Biogen’s Community Lab in Research Triangle Park piloted a middle school-focused program with rising 8th grade students, particularly those from groups underrepresented in science. The invited students, from a local middle school, spent a full week engaging in hands-on projects on bacteria and the application of biotechnology in the real world.

Reactions to the program were very positive – one student praised the hands-on nature of the experience, while another was so inspired that she said, “It made me feel as if I was a true scientist.” We plan to continue and expand the program, and to measure its impact by looking at end of grade test growth for program participants.

Our Community Labs also held several “On the Road” events in 2017 to get children and adults excited about science through hands-on experiments and demonstrations, including one for students with disabilities at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and another as part of the Science on Saturdays program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Our employees love sharing their passion for science, and that is the key to the success of these efforts. As one Biogen employee said, “Volunteering in the Community Lab is such a wonderful opportunity for me to contribute to our future by helping to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders. The students love being able to visit a real biopharmaceutical facility, and the experience allows them to get exposure to possible career interests. It’s fun to see them having so much fun with science!”

BIG Champions of Inclusion Awards

Our employees are passionate about diversity. They are at the forefront of embracing and leveraging differences to build a more inclusive and innovative company culture. Biogen recognizes their leadership with our annual awards program – BIG Champions of Inclusion.

BIG Champions of Inclusion acknowledges and celebrates Biogen employees around the globe who embrace inclusion and foster a work environment where employees feel empowered to do their best work.

In 2017 we recognized three employees and two teams as BIG Champions of Inclusion. They each help cultivate environments that support the power of difference and role-model inclusiveness on behalf of patients, providers, suppliers and our workforce.

Our 2017 BIG Champions brought more inclusion to the hiring process (Anne Dilley), role modeled what it takes to understand different perspectives (Kim Wolfram) and helped create space for others to share by listening before speaking (Peyton Martin).

Two teams were also recognized as BIG Champions this year. One was the newly launched Swiss Diversity and Inclusion Chapter that is leading D&I efforts at Biogen’s international headquarters and Swiss affiliates. The Chapter held a highly successful speed-mentoring event in 2017 to raise D&I awareness through mentoring, dialogue and engagement. The Veteran’s Network Leadership (VNL) group at Research Triangle Park was also recognized for proactively assisting Biogen in recruiting veterans for open job positions.

Stressing the importance of D&I at the annual awards ceremony, Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos called for Biogen to be a champion, keeping diversity and inclusion at the core of who we are and who we want to be.

Awardee Anne Dilley agreed, “We all share a common humanity. We may approach our lives differently but we gain strength by the differences in experiences and the wisdom of others.”

2017 Goals & Performance

%

of employees indicated in our annual People Survey that they were proud to work for Biogen, exceeding the industry benchmark by 24 percentage points

%

of positions at the director level and above are held by women

$1.7M

employee matching gifts in the U.S. totaled $1.7 million in 2017

employees in 26 countries supported over 60 projects as part of Care Deeply Day in 2017

$6.2M

in community grants including Biogen Foundation employee matching gift donations ($1.7 million) in 2017

students along with 524 employee volunteers participated in our Community Lab programs to learn more about science and technology in 2017

89%
of employees indicated in our annual People Survey that they were proud to work for Biogen, exceeding the industry benchmark by 24 percentage points
43%
of positions at the director level and above are held by women
$1.7M

employee matching gifts in the U.S. totaled $1.7 million in 2017

2,600
employees in 26 countries supported over 60 projects as part of 2017 Care Deeply Day
$6.2M
in community grants including Biogen Foundation employee matching gift donations ($1.7 million) in 2017
5,133

students along with 524 employee volunteers participated in our Community Lab programs to learn more about science and technology in 2017