Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals


While Otsuka Pharmaceuticals has a longstanding commitment to diversity of thought as it pertains to driving innovation, the tragic and monumental societal events occurring over the last 18 months caused heightened awareness and increased priority for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) across global business and community landscapes.

During that time, Otsuka has faced the challenge of assembling resources to formally set the company’s DE&I foundation and unify its approach. Diversity of thought is and will remain a cultural tenet of Otsuka’s, and in many ways DE&I is inherently valued and engrained throughout the organization and in what we do. However, prior to June 2020, many internal initiatives were being executed in siloes without the benefit of broader organizational collaboration.


In 2020, Otsuka began laying the groundwork for a truly equitable and inclusive environment by establishing a DE&I Council and a series of actionable goals, conducting a robust audit of its internal talent processes and practices, and engaging in meaningful communications that aimed to continuously educate employees. Otsuka implemented mandatory Unconscious Bias training, which 96% of employees have completed. The organization hosted focused educational opportunities for example with external speakers including: Meaningful Dialogue on Race with Dr. Valerie Purdie-Greenaway, and the Deafblind Women who Conquered Harvard Law session with Haben Girma. Otsuka also established an internal forum called “Leader Chats” – a program that is ongoing to this day where employees of all levels have the opportunity to speak with executive leaders in small forums about topical issues, including how to Rise Above Bias. The organization also hosted “Manager Meet-Ups” on Race Dialogue, among other activities.

Otsuka also established its first black employee resource group called BeOne, which paved the way for further ERGs to carve out areas for belonging within the organization. The first Network of Otsuka Women (NOW) group was also forged.

In 2021, Otsuka continues to make significant strides as it relates to DE&I by furthering employees’ knowledge and understanding throughout the employee journey—starting at the very beginning of the lifecycle with hiring. Various teams are working together to ensure the hiring process is equitable and inclusive for prospective candidates by offering in-depth, live training for new hires, people managers and any individual involved in hiring future Otsuka-people. Otsuka is also exceeding its goals in terms of engaging with diverse suppliers.


As of September 2021, Otsuka also stood up its first Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office, whereby all efforts will be centralized and designed to deliver on its vision and unified approach to crystalizing an environment that allows all Otsuka people to thrive and be the best version of themselves, in the pursuit of serving Otsuka’s patients.


Otsuka stands for celebrating diversity and cultural acceptance, as well as giving equal voice and opportunity to every person—regardless of their race, gender or creed. Otsuka is a place where we hope and believe people can really bring their true selves to work every day.

Kabir Nath
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