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Diversity and inclusion

At Thermo Fisher, diversity and inclusion (D&I) is engrained within our culture. Through our D&I initiatives our colleagues are encouraged to openly share the wide range of perspectives they represent, creating an environment where differences are truly valued and everyone feels like they belong. Fostering this type of environment empowers our colleagues to make their best contributions and have fulfilling careers.


We are committed to creating a global environment that embraces our colleagues' unique qualities and differences. We have a long-term D&I strategy that will guide our efforts over the next five years. Thermo Fisher leadership, including our CEO, champions D&I and demonstrates active involvement. In 2018, we appointed a Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion to grow and implement our strategy across the company.


A critical part of delivery on our strategy is the ability to measure our progress. To do this, we utilize our D&I Index, which includes a core set of metrics that are part of ongoing business reviews, enabling meaningful, data-driven decisions across our businesses. Our Quarterly Business Reviews include representation data. Keeping this data top of mind ensures we consistently measure progress and continue to focus on colleague diversity. We understand the critical role diverse thinking has in business success, and HR and leadership are empowered to act to ensure our workforce represents the world around us.   



We are committed to creating a work environment with a diverse range of perspectives. Our newly appointed Diversity Leader in Talent Acquisition helps us focus on building deeper relationships with select external diversity-focused organizations to recruit top talent from underrepresented ethnic groups (in the United States), such as African Americans and Hispanic-Latinos. We consider candidates from various career levels, including recent graduates, mid-level managers and senior executives.

In 2019, we piloted a talent acquisition initiative that directly connected our African Heritage ERG members with our diversity partners to help strengthen the awareness of career opportunities and attract potential candidates. Having a direct connection to our Human Resources team helps to ensure candidates who have been referred by African Heritage ERG members receive appropriate consideration for open positions. Lessons from the pilot are helping us create a sustainable long-term approach to diversity hiring.

In addition to attracting and hiring diverse talent, we support our colleagues’ career development. In 2019, our Carlsbad, Calif., site hosted the Association of Women in Science – San Diego Chapter’s Annual Summit. The summit brought together 150 women from across southern California, featured five senior leaders from Thermo Fisher, and was co-hosted by the Women’s ERG. More broadly, the Women’s ERG sponsored a partnership with Catalyst, an organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. Through this partnership all colleagues gain access to pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to advance women into leadership roles while creating a more inclusive workplace.

Our site in Illkirch, France won first prize in the 2019 “Win Win Challenge,” a competition hosted by The Town and Eurometropole of Strasbourg. This award recognizes companies that actively support the promotion of women in the workplace. The Illkirch site was honored for increasing female representation on the European leadership team from 10% to 40% over the last three years, establishing a Women’s ERG chapter to support and promote women in the business and providing opportunities for female leaders to share their experiences during Careers Week and International Women’s Day.


At Thermo Fisher, we focus on creating a welcoming environment where all colleagues’ voices are heard, and all colleagues can move our culture and innovation forward. Our Business and Employee Resource Groups (B/ERGs) help activate our diversity and inclusion strategy as they foster awareness of D&I and connect individuals with similar interests to improve the colleague experience and to support key initiatives. Our B/ERGs are vital to our effort to continuously reinforce that all colleagues are valued and can make a difference for our customers and for each other. Working across all of our global locations and in online communities, they help foster organizational culture, reinforce infrastructure and create personal accountability. Our B/ERGs support our organization in four key areas:

  • Recruiting and retaining diverse talent
  • Career development for our diverse talent population to help build long and
  • fulfilling careers
  • Communications and education to bring awareness to unconscious bias and improve company culture
  • Community involvement with outreach through volunteerism and local partnerships

Each B/ERG is championed by an executive sponsor and key leaders throughout our company. Our sites are empowered to launch ERG chapters aligned to heritage and identity groups and BRG chapters aligned to business interests. We continue to launch new B/ERGs and chapters while evolving the impact these groups have on business outcomes.

Quotation marks
Diversity and inclusion is more than something we do – at Thermo Fisher, it’s who we are and unrelentingly aspire to be. Our ERGs are committed to bringing diverse voices into our global conversations. We leverage inclusion to foster these knowledge intersections so we can deliver the most innovative solutions to our customers.”

Jennifer Farmer
Vice President,
Global Diversity & Inclusion

Colleague awareness

Our colleagues learn about and reinforce our commitment to D&I in their day- to-day work. In 2019, we piloted two D&I education programs within two of our largest business groups. The programs merge a dynamic multimedia platform with peer mentoring and facilitated discussions. Both pilots have encouraged more dialogue and storytelling among colleagues, ultimately helping them to bring their authentic selves to work and shifting the cultural dialogue. Based on the results of the pilot, we have expanded access to one of the D&I programs to all colleagues.


We leverage our B/ERGs to help educate colleagues about inclusion and diverse perspectives at both the local and global levels. Local B/ERG chapters drive engagement and inclusion while aligning with their global B/ERG leaders on key initiatives. Currently, our B/ERGs have helped support local colleagues during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic by fostering a sense of community and volunteering their operational skills to help support our Incident Response Teams.

We actively foster a culture where all colleagues are comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. We do this by continuing to evaluate our policies and procedures to ensure our colleagues not only feel accepted coming to their place of work, but that they truly belong.


Employee Resource Groups


Local ERG chapters (up 14% from 2017)


Years with perfect 100 score on Corporate Equality Index

In support of World Mental Health Day in October 2019, Thermo Fisher's Global Benefits team and the PossAbilities ERG sponsored a global webinar to raise colleague awareness of the importance of our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Guest speakers highlighted the programs and resources Thermo Fisher provides for our colleagues and their families.

Quotation marks
Mental health can impact so much of our overall wellbeing and influence our performance at work and at home. At Thermo Fisher, we seek to increase our focus in this space by raising awareness of the programs that will enable our colleagues to lead healthier lives."

Tim Coughlin
Vice President,
Global Benefits

Tapping into strengths through neurodiversity

Thermo Fisher recognizes that diversity comes in many dimensions. As part of our commitment to create a more equitable workforce, we piloted a Neurodiversity Hiring Initiative in 2019. Partnering with the Arc of San Diego, which serves local people with disabilities, and Neurodiversity in the Workplace, a hiring initiative launched five years ago by The Arc of Philadelphia, we hosted a two-week interview for eight data science candidates. They received professional development training and demonstrated their capabilities during a team-based technical project and presentation, rather than a traditional interview format, which may have obscured those capabilities. We hired six of the candidates, and their impact has been significant. One colleague received recognition from our CEO for his data science insights that informed product management teams on top opportunities for developing and commercializing new services.

Access for all genders

We are committed to making the workplace comfortable and supportive for all colleagues. Thermo Fisher has developed new facility standards and guidelines to help our sites provide gender inclusive restrooms that are available to all of our colleagues and visitors, regardless of gender identity. These guidelines will help sites retrofit buildings to accommodate all-gender restrooms where permitted under state or country regulations. Thermo Fisher will also begin integrating all-gender restrooms in new-build facilities where permitted and appropriate.

In support of our LGBTQ colleagues, in 2019 Thermo Fisher joined more than 200 other companies urging the United States Supreme Court to recognize that the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Reverse mentoring

As part of our commitment to respecting and understanding different perspectives, our Millennials’ ERG manages a Reverse Mentoring Program, operated globally in local chapters. This program enables Millennials to serve as mentors to those in older generations at Thermo Fisher to strengthen the connection and understanding across generations.

Recognizing unconscious bias

During the 2019 India annual leadership and commercial meeting, we provided D&I training to the 900 attendees, including recognizing unconscious bias. Professional skits illustrated how quickly and easily bias can be developed. Colleagues were then engaged in exercises highlighting common workplace situations in India and the alternatives for responding in ways that foster inclusivity.

Quotation marks
We realized that the first step in building a more diverse and inclusive workplace is recognizing and consciously working around any bias we may have. The change required for a truly inclusive culture comes from within each one of us.”

Puneet Rajput
Human Resources