No. 2 Top 10 Companies for Asian Americans
Business Type: Pharmaceuticals
Corporate Headquarters: Abbott Park, Ill.
Number of U.S. Employees: 35,000
Annual Worldwide Revenues: $22.3 billion
Half of Abbott’s managers participate in the company’s
mentoring program. That’s more than double the Top
50 average of 21. 1 percent. Part of that success can be
attributed to the company’s recent restructuring of the
program. Last year, the program underwent two major
changes: The process was computerized and consolidated,
Miles D. White
Chairman and CEO
Director of Corporate Diversity
giving participants easier access to
tools and allowing employees to
look outside of their division for
The old process required coordinators to pick mentors and mentees.
Now, an online system pairs employees based on their requests and helps
keep them on track with goal planning, training tips and other tools.
The bigger move was restructuring the mentoring program.
Previously distributed throughout
the different divisions (each of
Abbott’s two business groups,
Pharmaceuticals and Medical
Products, has a handful of divisions), there now is a single companywide program. An employee in
one of the Medical Products divisions now can request a mentor in
the Pharmaceuticals division, which
wasn’t possible a year ago. “It gives
you greater opportunity,” says
William Lee, director of corporate
diversity, “allowing for greater movement throughout the organization.”
The program includes 1,090
protégés and 568 mentors. In the
two weeks following the mentoring
fair, enrollment increased by 9 percent. Lee says the participation rate
has continued to rise.
Abbott turned to one of its
employee networks, Women Leaders
in Action, to pilot the new program.
Chairman and CEO Miles D. White
helped launch that group, in addition to building a $10-million onsite
childcare center, to support women’s
development at Abbott.
Lee meets with group chairper-sons every quarter to make sure
their activities are aligned with the
company’s business goals. A senior
executive is a member of each network; they all receive company
funding and are allowed to meet
during business hours.
In 2005, the company launched
its seventh employee network, La
Voice, which focuses on leadership
development of Latino employees.
By the end of the year, more than
9,000 Abbott employees were
members of employee networks,
which focus on career development.