AstraZeneca selected for 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, recognising commitment to advancing women in the workplace

The 2019 Gender-Equality Index highlights 230 firms that are trailblazers in their commitment to transparency in workplace gender reporting

AstraZeneca today announced that it is one of 230 companies selected for the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.

The only major pharmaceuticals company represented in the Index, the company achieved a number of top scores and best in class ratings across the Index categories, including for Board and CEO representation, Pipeline from Workforce to Management and Education Programmes.

Pascal Soriot, CEO and Executive Director said; “Inclusion and Diversity is fundamental to the success of our company, because innovation requires breakthrough ideas that only come from a diverse workforce empowered to challenge conventional thinking. At AstraZeneca, we continue to strive for greater diversity, not only in leadership but across our whole employee base. By promoting inclusive behaviour we can make the most of our collective potential and ensure that different thinking and perspectives come together - quite simply it’s the right thing to do.”


“We applaud AstraZeneca and the other 229 firms tracked by the index for their action to measure gender equality through the Bloomberg GEI framework,” said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg and Founding Chairman of the U.S. 30% Club. “AstraZeneca’s GEI inclusion is a strong indicator to its employees, investors and industry peers alike that it is leading by example to advance ongoing efforts for a truly inclusive workplace.”

AstraZeneca employs 61,000 people in more than 100 countries. In 2018, around the world women made up half the workforce, constituted 41% of our Board, and five out of our 14 (36%) Senior Executive Team (SET) members. Changes to our Board and SET effective January 2019 reduce our gender diversity figures to 33% and 31% respectively, however we are confident that we have the best people in roles and we continue to make great progress overall.

In recent years, we have focused on increasing the number of women in leadership positions. Globally, since 2012, the number of women in Senior and Leadership roles has risen from some 39% to 45% at the end of 2018. However, we do not only focus our Inclusion and Diversity efforts on our own work force. We value the power of diversity in our supply chain, and as a result of our continued commitment in this space we exceeded our 2018 goals for women-owned and small business spend in the US, doubled our spend with minority-owned companies and tripled the HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) spend in 2018. We also received several external industry awards for supporting women-owned and diverse businesses.

As part of our broader commitment to Inclusion and Diversity we have implemented numerous initiatives across the globe, such as a Women as Leaders programme, unconscious bias training, the formation of various employee resource groups (such as an LGBT network and a Network of Women) and initiatives to ensure recruitment includes diverse applicant slates and diverse interview panels. Events are held regularly to promote Inclusion and Diversity across our sites including an annual Women’s Summit, which had more than 2000 attendees in 2018.

Disclosures from firms included in the 2019 GEI provide a wide-ranging and comprehensive look at how companies around the world are investing in women. According to GEI data:  

  • Women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between fiscal years 2014-2017.
  • 60% of firms conduct compensation reviews to identify gender-based variations in pay to close their average 20% pay gap (18% on average in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions and 26% in Asia-Pacific).
  • 34% have programs in place to recruit women looking to return to work after a career break.
  • For U.S. employees, the average number of weeks of fully paid primary leave offered is 13 weeks, and the average number of weeks of fully paid secondary leave offered is 5 weeks.
  • 43% of firms cover gender reassignment services in health insurance plans.
  • 68% of firms evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.

Find out more about Inclusion and Diversity at AstraZeneca in the 2017 Sustainability Report

Find out more about the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index



  • Sustainability