With a focus on recruiting, developing, retaining and performing, our equality, diversity & inclusion strategy enables us to raise the bar and continue growing. It includes driving awareness and understanding, attracting and sourcing talent, developing and engaging talent, and creating connections and community. Learn more
Equity, equality, diversity and inclusion
Since our inception in 2013, AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation have invested more than $120 million in philanthropic programs that purposefully support diverse communities.
- We are addressing the achievement gap in our partnerships with Communities In Schools, City Year and the University of Chicago Education Lab, who are working to improve graduation rates, reduce dropout rates and boost college and career readiness for K-12.
- Through our employee volunteers and our donations, we’ve built school libraries across the U.S., processed and donated thousands of books, and increased access to STEM education.
- And in North Chicago, we’re building a brand-new middle school with a 21st century learning environment to improve student success.
On June 16, 2020, we made a donation of $5 million to NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative to address issues in our criminal justice system and made an additional commitment of $50 million in a five-year program to support underserved Black communities across the United States.
On December 9, 2020, we shared the nonprofit partners part of the $50 million investment. AbbVie will collaborate with these partners to support health and education opportunity in underserved Black communities.
AbbVie’s partners are:
- Direct Relief to support the improvement of health care services at free and charitable clinics and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). AbbVie’s support will launch the “Fund for Health Equity,” which will improve care across the country in undeserved Black communities.
- Urban Health Initiative (UHI), the University of Chicago Medicine’s community health department, to empower Chicago’s South Side community—made up of 77 percent Black residents— to advance health equity. AbbVie’s support will enable local teams of community health workers to promote access to care and resources proven to measurably reduce health disparities.
- National Urban League’s Project Ready Mentor, to lead a mentorship program for Black Americans and other historically underserved youth (ages 11-18). AbbVie’s funding will provide mentorship in three new cities and expand existing programs in 11 cities to improve post-secondary success.
- UNCF Healthcare Diversity Workforce Program, as seed funding to reduce barriers to advancement in health professions and increase the number of Black professionals in a wide variety of health care careers. Scholarship, academic and career development support will be provided to students who are interested in a career in health care, but who might otherwise not have an opportunity to go beyond high school.
- Providence St. Mel School to fund scholarships for high school students living in Chicago’s Southwest side based on financial need and academic potential. This independent, predominantly Black high school has had a 100 percent college acceptance rate since 1978.
- Year Up to support its training and internship program for more than 600 young adults (ages 18-26). AbbVie’s support will enable technical skills training that is relevant and aligned with industry demand.
The grants are being made by the AbbVie Foundation, a charitable organization established and funded by AbbVie, Inc. Read the full announcement.
AbbVie is also expanding its employee matching program to $3-to-$1 for donations to civil rights nonprofits fostering racial equity.
A data-driven approach to ensuring clinical trial diversity
AbbVie believes our clinical trials should reflect the populations we serve as we aim to help patients live healthier, longer lives. Ensuring diversity means we can better meet the needs of our patients both today and tomorrow. We are committed to researching and bringing treatment options for diseases that affect patients around the world, including groups of patients who historically have been underserved.
As part of our dedication, AbbVie is committed to being an industry leader in improving clinical research diversity. We rely on real-world data and evidence to guide our diversity and inclusion strategies to ensure participation in AbbVie-sponsored clinical trials appropriately represents patients living with the diseases we are studying. We have been and will continue to analyze our clinical trials to ensure they reflect a diversity in race, ethnicity, age, and gender. To this end, our continuing commitment is as follows:
- Evaluating our clinical trial protocol eligibility criteria against real-world datasets to ensure we are designing inclusive study protocols, enabling under-represented populations to volunteer for our clinical trials.
- Analyzing and ensuring the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of those enrolled in our clinical trials appropriately reflects the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of the patient population we are studying. If diversity gaps are identified within indications in our portfolio, we will create a tailored plan to address specific gaps. This plan may include enhanced community partnerships, clinical research staff education, investigator trainings, new site selection strategies, and targeted patient outreach.
- Routinely re-assessing clinical study demographics to determine if our efforts to ensure participation of under-represented populations have made an impact, pivoting to different strategies if necessary.
- Continuing to refine our clinical trial diversity and inclusion strategies based on analytics and ensuring every team has access to regional indication demographics, including AbbVie resources to help resolve previously identified diversity gaps.
Reducing health disparities
Black Americans face significant health disparities as a result of systemic inequalities, and as a biopharmaceutical company, it is our moral obligation to do all that we can to help reduce these disparities. Since we became a company seven years ago, we have developed new medicines and treatments for diseases that disproportionately impact Black communities. This includes a cure for Hepatitis C, as Black men and women aged 60 and older are 10 times more likely to be chronically infected with hepatitis C compared to other Americans. We’ve also developed the first oral medication for the management of heavy menstrual bleeding due to uterine fibroids. Black women suffer from a higher cumulative risk of uterine fibroids, a threefold greater incidence and relative risk of fibroids, and an earlier age of onset. Additionally, we have developed an oral treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Black patients with CLL are almost twice as likely to die from a CLL-related complication in the first 5 years after diagnosis as are Caucasian patients with CLL. But we are far from finished. We are working to develop new treatments that will significantly advance the standard of care for a number of diseases.