Inclusion and diversity

We are champions of inclusion and diversity

Inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the success of our company, because innovation requires breakthrough ideas that only come from a diverse workforce empowered to challenge conventional thinking.

We also know that people are able to work better in environments where they feel safe and empowered. That is why we aim to create an inclusive workplace and a workforce that reflects the communities in which we operate and the patients we help, delivering diversity of thought, incorporating cultural understanding and ultimately stimulating an atmosphere where people feel that they belong.

We value our differences because we recognise that a team is at its most creative when it is made up of people who think differently from one another, in an environment where different views and perspectives are welcomed and valued. This is how we foster continuous innovation, constant learning and growth for us as individuals and for our patients. 

Our approach

In recent years, we have had 50% representation of men and women in our workforce and we are aiming for the same at management levels, but gender is only one measure of diversity. In 2020, we set the ambition to ensure racial equity in our workplace and access to our medicines, in our clinical trials and beyond.

Inclusion and diversity is one of the foundations of our People strategy — driving innovation, engagement and a sense of connection and belonging. We have three priorities for Inclusion and diversity:

  • Empowering inclusive leadership: We value, seek out and make the most of our differences to achieve our company goals. We contribute to a psychologically safe environment and make decisions transparently. Inclusive leadership is the expected way of working for everyone, at every career level 
  • Fostering a culture where people can speak their mind: We speak our minds and make it safe for others to do so. We challenge behaviours that are not in line with our Values, and welcome and suggest alternative ideas and constructive feedback. We empower decision making at the appropriate level 
  • Building and sustaining a diverse leadership and talent pipeline: We seek to attract, retain and develop diverse talent that reflects and serves our communities and patients. We aim to understand our demographics and take action globally at each stage in the talent pipeline

We are a founding partner of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative, a coalition of 48 organisations representing 13 industries, with more than 5.5 million employees. It is focused on commitments to eradicate racism in the workplace and set new global standards for racial equity in business. It also provides a platform for businesses to advocate together for inclusive policy change.  

Our key target and progress

See the Sustainability Data Summary for all metrics and methodology

Our stories

Walking the talk on racial equity
We recognise the urgent need for organisations to step up and put an end to systemic racism. In the wake of the social atrocities highlighted by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and health and economic disparities faced by racial and ethnic minorities during COVID-19, our Global Inclusion and Diversity Council and employee-led dialogues spurred AstraZeneca to act on these issues. Colleagues across the globe shared how challenges related to health inequities, COVID-19 and BLM, are manifesting in their functions and regions. 

Based on constructive ideation, we initiated new actions to support racial equity:

Talent pipeline
Employee resources
External actions

Other stories

Supplier diversity programme
A Gendered Approach to NCD Prevention

Our commitments

We offer dedicated training programmes to support and accelerate the career and personal goals of women in our company. Women are currently promoted at a higher rate than men across all levels of seniority, positively impacting the gender balance.

We are one of 325 companies on the Bloomberg LP Gender-Equality Index 2021, which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.

In February 2021, the Hampton-Alexander Review named us the highest-ranking pharmaceutical companies in the FTSE 100 for representation of women on the combined executive committee and their direct reports, and we moved up from 6th place to 3rd place in the list of the Top 10 Best Performers.

We have also set a comprehensive plan to ensure racial equity in our workplace and in access to our medicines. Our commitments include ensuring our workforce is representative of the communities in which we operate, taking action at each stage of our talent pipeline to increase representation, and driving change beyond our company by ensuring all that we do reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.


In the United States, we were included on the Forbes Best Employers For Diversity list for 2021, In the UK we were included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list for 2021.

We have also earned a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's index resulting in a designation as one of the 2021 Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

Learn more about Inclusion and diversity in our Sustainability Report.