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Our purpose is to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people's lives. We use innovative science and technology to address some of society's most challenging healthcare issues. We discover and develop breakthrough treatments and find new ways ...

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INDUSTRY Biotech & Pharmaceuticals
TEAM SIZE 10000+
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Diversity & Inclusion
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CEO of Novartis
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Vas Narasimhan
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Featured review

Lack of integrity - ego over patients, incivility and sexism

12/3/2023 - Director, Global Medical Affairs at Basel
Positive outlook
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The campus is pleasant with many amenities. Flexibility of working from home. The salary is ok. IT is responsive and useful. Some colleagues care about patients. These are the same people who are competent, helpful and have integrity.


The lack of integrity is blatant: towards patients first and this is also reflected in relationships between colleagues. The word “accountability” is completely unknown. I noticed inappropriate behavior from several Global directors, including: the use of a condescending tone, sexist and/or age-related comments, and homophobic “jokes.” Examples: one who mentions his genitals, another who says “If you don’t call me [nickname], it’s because we haven’t spent the night together yet”. I highly recommend seeking help outside the company first before contacting Speak Up, the department officially responsible for investigating and acting on violations of the internal Code of Ethics and/or the law. From what I've seen, Local teams are more competent than Global teams. Some people talk, hide their ignorance behind their arrogance and enjoy giving orders while others do the work. The Global strategy is unclear, without vision – although this probably varies by therapeutic area. Advancing a project that is important to patients and defined as a priority is a feat. A new organizational change is underway, which is surprising considering the one that happened only a few months ago. Employees fear for their place, that’s understandable. This makes ego problems worse. There's nothing worse than coworkers projecting their insecurities onto you.

More than 100,000 people, each with a unique story

The greatest strength of Novartis is our people, whose diversity, energy and creativity are crucial to our success.

  • This year we made progress towards our goal of achieving gender balance in management by 2023, with the percentage of women managers at 44%. The number of women on the ECN rose from 2 to 3, and women now head both the Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Oncology business units.
  • We also made progress toward our United Nations Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) pledge to close the gender pay gap by 2023. One major step is to remove potential bias from the system by eliminating historical salary data when making job offers. In 2019 we achieved this in seven countries covering 40% of global hiring, including the US and India.
  • As the first major pharmaceutical company to support the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business, we also maintained our focus on fighting discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
  • We are focused on developing self-aware leaders who empower diverse teams and foster an environment where everyone feels heard, respected and valued. We have developed a suite of resources to help leaders reflect upon their own inclusive behaviors, understand unconscious bias, cultivate curiosity and practice intentional behaviors to foster belonging. This includes active listening, inclusive planning and decision-making.
  • Novartis supports more than 50 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) which are voluntary networks linking employees around specific topics of interest (e.g., women and parents, people with disabilities, ethnic and cultural affiliation, environmental sustainability, mindfulness, etc.).

Here are some more examples of the recognition we received on our journey toward becoming a truly diverse and inclusive company:

  • Maintained Hall of Fame designation, one of seven organizations to be recognized
  • Scored 100% on the LGBT Corporate Equality Index (CEI) of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
  • Ranked No. 7 in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which compares the environmental, social and governance performance of the world’s leading companies
  • Recognized in the Refinitiv Top 25 Most Diverse & Inclusive Companies 2020 as the leading pharma company for the third year in a row
  • As part of Novartis’s continuing commitment to gender equity, we are proud to announce our inclusion in the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
  • One of the Top 10 “Best Companies for Women in India” in the 2020 Working Mother and Avtar Best Companies for Women in India list
Who We Are

Novartis is an integrated, focused innovative medicines company.

At Novartis, we are driven by our purpose. We reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. We use innovative science and technology to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues. We discover and develop breakthrough treatments and find new ways to deliver them to as many people as possible.

Focus Areas

To support this strategy, we have clear focus areas and priorities to create value for our company, our shareholders and society. 

Organizational units
Organizational units represent the parts of the company along the research and development/ production/commercialization continuum. These are Biomedical Research, Development, Operations, and the two commercial units: US, focused on the US healthcare market, and International, focused on healthcare markets in Europe, Asia/Africa/Australasia, Canada and Latin America.

Therapeutic areas
The company focuses on four core therapeutic areas:
• Cardiovascular, renal and metabolic (CRM can be used on second reference)
• Immunology
• Neuroscience
• Oncology

 To learn more, visit this link: Therapeutic areas | Novartis

Global functions

Global functions support the organizational units and overall execution of company governance and strategy.
These are:
• Finance
• People & Organization (P&O)
• Legal
• Ethics, Risk & Compliance (ERC)
• Corporate Affairs (CA)
• Strategy & Growth (S&G)
• Internal Audit (IA)


Our Corporate Responsibility Strategy

Novartis has a sound strategy to navigate a world with a growing, aging population and continuously evolving healthcare needs. Our strategy supports the Novartis purpose and is centered around four key areas: holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards, being part of the solution on pricing and access to medicines, helping tackle global health challenges and being a responsible citizen.

Expanding Access to Healthcare

Developing new and innovative ways to reach people in lower-income countries is one of our top priorities.

Ethics, Risk & Compliance

We are committed to creating a culture of integrity and trust through strict adherence to the Novartis Code of Conduct.

Environmental Sustainability

Our ambition is to be a catalyst for positive change and a leader in environmental sustainability. Our aim is:

  • To be carbon neutral in our operations by 2025;
  • To be water neutral in all areas of our operations by 2030;
  • To be plastic neutral by 2030.

Corporate Responsibility Reporting and Disclosure

Novartis has a strong history of corporate responsibility activities, and transparent reporting is a central part of our commitment.

Work @ Novartis

We believe the answers are found when curious, courageous and collaborative people like you are brought together in an inspiring environment. Where you’re given the opportunity to explore the power and potential of data and digital. Where you’re empowered to risk failure by taking smart risks. Where you’re encouraged to share new ideas that can open up new ways of making things happen. And where you’re surrounded by teams who are equally determined to transform lives by tackling the world’s toughest medical challenges.


Our purpose answers the desire many people have for meaning and fulfillment in their work, so we want to make sure our people see the huge contribution that their work makes, to empower them to be their best selves every day and achieve their personal and professional goals.


We believe curiosity fuels discovery. To develop innovative medicines and breakthrough healthcare solutions, we need curious minds with a constant desire to learn and a passion to discover new and better ways of doing things.


Our people are most creative and productive when they are empowered to shape their work environment and pursue their ideas. We are focusing on encouraging leaders to remove obstacles and to empower their teams to reach their full potential. We are also equipping them with tools to be more self-aware and to set clear goals.


Our Code of Conduct sets high ethical standards, and comprehensive training ensures our associates know how to apply these standards in their work.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our differences make us powerful

While our diverse workforce brings different people and perspectives together, inclusion is making the mix work. It is about creating an atmosphere and an environment where each of us feels valued, respected and heard.

We want to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where every one of us can be our best and true selves, so that together we can discover more, reach underserved communities and reimagine medicine. Learn more about our commitments to diversity and inclusion, embedded in our Code of Ethics.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Novartis

Novartis Awards & Accolades

Novartis included again in the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, 2023 Fortune's Global 500,, 2023 Novartis recognized as Stonewall Top Global Employer 2022 with Silver Award, Stonewall Top Global Employers 2022, 2022 Novartis was included in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list,, 2022 Global Top Employer, Top Employers Institute, 2021