Life sciences isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry. That’s why Eurofins believes diverse backgrounds are cornerstones to scientific greatness.

Inequality is still an issue for both employers and workers across all industries, so it’s important that diversity issues move beyond a point of lip service. They’re simply good business sense: Companies find that there is a large return on investment for mentoring diverse employees.

EDI remains just as important to Eurofins’ organization as areas such as efficiency, productivity, and performance. Through their BioForward Wisconsin membership, they’re linked to larger investments in the infrastructure for Wisconsin biohealth companies to boost equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts.

Eurofins’ Madison-based location is home to two business units, including the ISO 17025-accredited food chemistry testing business unit and microbiology laboratory. The main focus at this location is food chemistry testing where they specialize in analyzing infant formula, sole-source nutrition products, hemp and CBD, dietary supplements, and a variety of botanicals. Their testing portfolio includes vitamins, minerals, contaminants, pesticides and shelf-life studies. The microbiology laboratory serves the food, feed, and ingredient industries; offers environmental monitoring services and microbiological testing; and specializes in microbial services for the probiotic and dietary supplement industries.

They offer environmental monitoring services and microbiological testing and specialize in microbial services for the probiotic and dietary supplement industries.

The organization prioritizes diversity of gender, race and orientation in a variety of ways. As a global company, they have initiatives in place to promote women in leadership – a particularly key area for the scientific community. They have also increased diversity in hiring by trying to bring in a highly diverse candidate pool for interviews.

Their global Equality Driving Excellence (EDE) Initiative oversees many of these efforts, with equality ambassadors from 17 different countries. Of those, 29 are women and 11 are men – with the goal to have ambassadors who represent the diversity of each employee worldwide.

Ambassadors have each formed a team consisting of a business line leader, HR business partner and employee volunteers who are referred to as equality champions. Teams surveyed their colleagues and determined that areas of priority include recruiting and hiring, as well as mentoring and employee development.

To that end, a mentoring program was formed for existing leaders to come alongside one another and strengthen their leadership skills. Additionally, new leadership training was developed for employees with direct reports. They’ve tackled topics such as, “How to be an Equality-Driving Excellence Leader” and “Unconscious Bias.”

The EDE Initiative has also been responsible for launching Equality Conversations, a series where coworkers present equality-related topics such as “Cultural Intelligence” and “Being an Ally: LGBTQ+.”

At the Madison facility, Eurofins took things one step further: They formed a Community Outreach Recreational Engagement (CORE) Team in December of 2019 designed to support employee engagement and inclusion activities. The team consists of 13 lead members representing a variety of departments and many more individuals helping with various activities and events.  

It exists, in its simplest form, to celebrate people’s differences. That’s happened in a variety of ways this year, from LGBTQ education to changing social media platforms to rainbow backgrounds during Pride Month. The company shared stories of heroes who stood up for their sexuality, handed out Pride cookies and flew a rainbow flag throughout the month of June.

Inclusion efforts expanded midmonth to also raise the Juneteenth flag on our flagpole. Black social justice resources were shared with employees, as well as educational resources, links to relevant articles, and a list of black-owned businesses in Madison.

At the end of the day, hiring for diversity really only works for companies dedicated to a culture of inclusivity. A new hire won’t feel fulfilled and meet potential in an environment that works against them.

Diverse backgrounds lend themselves to better problem-solving and improved analysis when experiences are shared and lessons can be learned. That’s why employees need to know that their value and background is a vital part of the biohealth industry’s success. We need different perspectives if we are to create scientific advancements that will improve all communities – regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities.

That’s what makes us better together.