Make Smarter Talent Acquisition Decisions with Our Latest Insights on India's Job Trends Download Now!
Employee Resource />

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in Pharma: Building Communities for Diversity and Support

Employee Resource              
				<h5 class=
By Taggd Editorial Team

March 12, 2024


min read

sign up and join the careers circle to unlock this article

Find more curated content by Taggd

sign up sign in


Out of the 49.5 million-strong pharma workforce, only 11% of it is represented by females. Not only women but people of color, individuals from different ethnic backgrounds, and those from the LGBTQ+ community have often been underrepresented and neglected.

This lack of representation has a direct impact on the quality of products and the ecosystem at large. For instance, a lack of diversity has proven to result in pharmaceutical research that does not fully account for the varied responses to medication across different demographics, as most trial audiences have predominantly been the same for decades. 

Recognizing this, forward-thinking companies in the pharma industry are increasingly turning to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to foster diversity, inclusion, and a sense of community among their workforce. 

Understanding the Role of ERGs

ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that aim to enhance the work culture in alignment with the organization’s goals and objectives. Here are three vital features of ERGs that establish their importance within pharmaceutical companies:

  • Diversity Champions: ERGs serve as powerful advocates for diversity and inclusion, championing the voices of underrepresented groups and promoting equity within the pharmaceutical organization.

  • Support Networks: ERGs provide invaluable support networks for employees, offering mentorship, guidance, and a sense of belonging, particularly for individuals from marginalized or minority backgrounds.

  • Cultural Catalysts: ERGs act as cultural catalysts, fostering a positive work environment where employees from diverse backgrounds can thrive, collaborate, and contribute their unique perspectives to drive pharmaceutical innovation and success.

As per the India Decoding Jobs 2024 study, Indian pharmaceutical companies meet 40% of the generic demand in the US and supply 25% of all medicines in the UK. To meet such global needs and expand supply across different geographies, companies in the Indian pharma industry can leverage ERGs to attract, retain and nurture collaboration among globally diverse individuals in their think tanks. 

Benefits of ERGs for Employees

One of the core functions of ERGs is to provide support and development opportunities for their members. 65% of employees who participate in ERGs have said that these groups positively impacted their careers.

  • Professional Guidance: ERGs offer avenues for mentorship, networking, and professional development, empowering employees to thrive in their careers while staying true to their authentic selves. 
  • Improved work conditions: ERGs provide a shared platform where employees can discuss common problems, and jointly approach the management for a speedy resolution. Such groups ensure that employees can freely voice their concerns and expect change.
  • Empower Innovation: The presence of ERGs helps drive innovative work environments. Since ERGs are usually made up of employees from various designations and departments, they inherently promote diversity in thoughts which promotes an environment of path-breaking innovation and ideation. 
  • Workplace Community: ERGs contribute to a positive company culture by fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. In an industry driven by a common mission – to improve global health – cultivating a strong sense of community among employees boosts morale and enhances productivity and innovation. 

Additionally, the scientific nature of the work can create a sense of exclusivity for those from non-scientific backgrounds. By championing diversity through targeted initiatives and support networks, ERGs pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Benefits of ERGs for Pharma Organizations

Besides helping employees, ERGs serve as strategic assets for pharmaceutical organizations in India, offering a multitude of benefits that directly contribute to business success:

  • Enhanced Product Development: With employees from diverse communities as their members, ERGs serve as in-house research groups that offer nuanced insights into diverse market segments and consumer preferences, enabling pharmaceutical companies to develop products that better meet the needs of their target communities. By tapping into the knowledge and experiences of ERG members, organizations can gain a competitive edge in the Indian market by offering innovative solutions tailored to specific demographic groups.
  • Increased Employee Productivity and Performance: A supportive and inclusive workplace culture fostered by ERGs leads to higher levels of employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. ERGs can play a crucial role in maximizing workforce potential and driving business results for pharmaceutical companies.
  • Improved Corporate Reputation and Brand Image: Strong ERGs can enhance the corporate reputation and brand image of pharmaceutical organizations by demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility and inclusivity. Pharmaceutical companies with active ERGs are perceived as progressive and trustworthy partners, which thereby enhances their credibility with investors, partners, and customers.
  • Enhanced Recruitment and Talent Acquisition: ERGs ensure adequate representation of all groups, which aids in recruitment efforts. For instance, when ERG members are active in varied panels and recruiting events, it demonstrates to prospective employees that the company they are considering joining has a friendly and inclusive environment.

Organizations with robust ERGs appear more attractive to talented individuals seeking inclusive and diverse work environments. By showcasing their commitment to diversity and inclusion through ERG initiatives, pharmaceutical companies in India can effectively differentiate themselves in the competitive talent market.

To Conclude

Employee Resource Groups represent a powerful resource for driving diversity, inclusion, and community building within pharmaceutical companies. By embracing the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in the industry, ERGs can serve as catalysts for positive change, ultimately enriching the workplace experience for all employees.

As the pharmaceutical landscape continues to evolve, the role of ERGs will only grow in significance, shaping a more equitable and vibrant future for the industry and its workforce. To ramp up your DEI efforts and build a strong talent pipeline, please feel free to get in touch with us at or directly get in touch with our recruitment specialists here!