Genentech is fostering belonging within their walls, advancing inclusive research and health equity, and transforming society through healthcare, education and community partnerships.
When Quita Highsmith started as a national sales director at Genentech in 2010, she began working with a colleague to organize a patient summit. The two looked for studies in which patients of color were included, but they found none. After learning that 90 percent of the participants in clinical studies are of European descent, they knew that action was needed, and their efforts led to one of the creation of one of the three strategic pillars of the company—Inclusive Research. This discovery sparked a DEI journey that landed Highsmith in the role of Genentech’s Chief Diversity Officer, and now she’s making waves across the country. Read more here.
Major DEI Initiatives.
Genentech’s work to champion diversity, equity and inclusion includes fostering belonging for their people, advancing inclusive research and health equity for all patients, and investing in transformative partnerships that strengthen D&I across healthcare, education and within all communities.
View Genentech’s 2020 DEI Report.
Learn about Genentech’s DEI work in action
Employee Resource Groups.
A diverse workforce that includes 13.5k employees.
Diversity Network Associations (DNA) Groups that drive and support employee professional development, business partnerships, and community educational outreach and support
Double Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx representation of director and officers and extended leadership.
Mirror Asian representation of directors and officers to that of Asian individual contributors and managers/supervisors
Address gender representation opportunity zones
Advancing Health Equity
Include population-specific assessments and inclusive research action plans on all molecule teams
Establish Genentech as a leader and partners of choice in advancing health equity
Commit $1 billion annually of their external spend to diverse suppliers
Require D&I commitments from all suppliers with requestions for proposal; of $500,000+
Champion Kindergarten to Careers
in Health equity
Quita Highsmith is Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Quita has co-authored several publications regarding health disparities including in the Journal of Oncology Practice and Contemporary Clinical Trials. She frequently presents at national and international forums and has co-authored abstracts at peer-reviewed conferences, including the American Association of Cancer Research’s conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved.
She is responsible for leading Genentech’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy, including recruiting, retaining, and developing diverse talent, investing in initiatives to support science education, and addressing barriers in clinical trial participation via Advancing Inclusive Research™.
Diversity in Silicon Valley:
A Candid Dialogue
Quita Highsmith, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Genentech, sat down with SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas for a candid conversation about diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley.