Recently I had the honor of meeting King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, during their visit to St. Augustine, Florida for the 20th U.S. Spain Council Forum. This was an especially proud moment for me. Even though earlier this year I had the honor of being sworn in as a U.S. citizen, my roots are still in my birth place of Spain.
It is remarkable to think that the son of a nurse and an engineer from Valencia, Spain would one day be part of the U.S. delegation meeting with the Spanish Royal family. Even more remarkable is the fact that my story is not unique. Many employees across Johnson & Johnson no longer work in their home geographies and instead have relocated to other regions and countries to gain invaluable insights about the global village we are all a part of today. Johnson & Johnson understands the business value gained by employing an international workforce with diverse backgrounds and cultural experiences who can all work together towards achieving healthcare milestones for patients and consumers around the world.
Promoting International Talent Diversity I have worked in three countries, two regions and at a global level during my 26 year tenure at Johnson & Johnson. I firmly believe that at every level of our company we should have a broad representation of experiences and perspectives. The Pharmaceuticals management team I co-lead has people from 6 nationalities who have worked across dozens of markets. We also benefit from strong gender diversity, with 8 men and 7 women making up this team.
From the earliest stages of our employees’ careers we seek to promote international opportunities. Programs such as our International Recruitment and Development Program (IRDP) identify top graduates from leading business graduate schools around the world. Not only do many of these graduates immediately move to different geographies, the program also includes an international assignment during the first two years. We also have a number of short- to long-term mobility opportunities to ensure we can benefit from a diverse range of cultural experiences in every market.
Being a Global Citizen
Our international breadth and diversity also allow us to bring unique perspectives to many global issues. At the U.S. Spain Council, we actively discussed policies such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). I particularly appreciated the opportunity to discuss how we can better promote the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge. Did you know more than 2,000 Spanish scientists have come to work in the U.S. in the last few years? Being an engaged and active global citizen means we can help ensure innovative products can benefit patients in every market around the world as soon as possible.
Retaining a Local Focus
I was joined at the meeting by a number of employees from our local Vision Care headquarters in Jacksonville. We had a great discussion with the local mayor of St. Augustine, Nancy Shaver, about a range of programs we are engaged in throughout her community.
Likewise I was able to speak with Queen Letizia about a conversation she had with our Managing Director in Spain. She spoke highly of a recently launched initiative in Spain to support the educational needs of children with rare diseases.
For Johnson & Johnson, being a multi-national company is an important enabler of leveraging the strength that comes from international diversity. As I travel the world visiting our various businesses, I wonder – is the young graduate I met in China going to be our next Worldwide Chairman? Or, will the aspiring Product Manager I spoke with in France one day lead a business for us in Africa? At Johnson & Johnson, there is truly a world of possibilities.
Joaquin Duato is Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, a position he assumed in January 2011. A member of the Johnson & Johnson Management Committee, he is responsible for the global pharmaceutical commercial businesses of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. In this role, Joaquin also oversees the Operations, Quality, and Compliance functional groups supporting the Pharmaceutical commercial and research and development organizations.