June 2, 2020
I’ve been thinking a lot about the events unfolding around the U.S. and the world – from the unspeakable violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others -- to the protests and the growing response from cities across the globe. It’s tragic enough that discrimination, bias and oppression have been endemic throughout history, but the more recent events for me are a heart breaking and sobering reminder of the urgent need to continue to fight for equality, justice and inclusion, both personally and professionally.
At Zoetis, we are fortunate our business purpose is also a social purpose -- this means we have a responsibility to bring greater value to society and create an environment where everyone feels included and valued. Our Core Beliefs are the heart of who we are as a company -- striving to always do the right thing, operate as One Zoetis, and value the difference our colleagues make every day.
But to be honest, beliefs alone are not enough. If you want to see change, you need to formalize commitments and the plans to reach them. The Zoetis Leadership Team and I discussed this need back in January and outlined a number of actions to advance diversity and inclusion within Zoetis. Many of these actions have been underway for the last few months, but recent events make this news even more imperative to communicate now.
From Beliefs to Actions
On May 13th, we initiated the Zoetis Diversity and Inclusion Council and we formally kicked off the Council on May 28th under the sponsorship of Wafaa Mamilli, Chief Information and Digital Officer. This group of 20 colleagues from diverse backgrounds, locations, levels and experiences will make up an advisory board that will help influence, define and implement D&I priorities for Zoetis. And importantly, they will also help us have an ongoing and open dialogue about diversity and inclusion.
As an organization, it’s also important for us to collaborate more openly with other organizations for a common purpose and to reach our goals more effectively. So in addition to the Council, I have made a public commitment on behalf of Zoetis to advance diversity and inclusion in our workplace, by signing the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion. With this pledge, Zoetis joins an organization of more than 900 CEOs from 85 industries working together to share best practices, exchange ideas and learnings so we can all build more inclusive workplaces.
While I truly believe that every leader and colleague is part of making sure our culture is inclusive, I also recognize we need dedicated expertise and focus to help us get there. I’m pleased to share that we are in the final stages of onboarding a Chief Talent, Diversity and Inclusion Officer who will join Zoetis June 15th and report to Roxanne Lagano, Chief Human Resources Officer and Global Operations. Combined with our overall talent strategy, this new leader will oversee our diversity and inclusion initiatives, working with colleagues and leaders throughout the business.
Holding Ourselves Accountable
Creating a diverse and inclusive culture is something that we must address every day and with every action so we can continually build an environment where colleagues can be their best and true selves – and where they feel valued for the contributions they make to our company, our customers and our communities.
At Zoetis, we stand unequivocally against any form of discrimination or racism, and it’s up to each one of us to treat each other with dignity and respect. With your support, I’m committed to creating an environment where all feel included and valued for our differences and the contributions that each of us makes to our business.
We are only at the beginning of this journey and to be clear, we have more work ahead of us. But I strongly believe the actions we are taking now will open up a greater dialogue on diversity and inclusion and help us deliver on our greater social purpose. These are challenging times for all of us, but it’s clear to me more now than ever, we are stronger when we are in it together.