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Eli Lilly says it’s nearly tripled spending with Black vendors since 2020 racial equity pledge

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Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly said it has nearly tripled its spending with Black vendors and suppliers and is ahead of schedule on employee volunteer hours two years after launching its Racial Justice Commitment.

Eli Lilly executives gave an update on progress with the company’s pledge during an event Dec. 1.

The company’s commitment was divided into five categories: people development, family-sustaining jobs, health equity, social impact and diversity partners.

People development

Eli Lilly pledged to increase representation of Black Americans at the company to 13% and create a series on race, equity and justice.

The company said it has since increased its share of Black employees from 9.6% to 10.2% and developed mandatory training for company leaders on how to develop an “inclusive and psychologically safe employee culture.” Leaders said the company has also expanded its partnership with HBCUs and hosted an HBCU Day for future scientists.

Family-sustaining jobs

Eli Lilly pledged to increase economic opportunities for Black Americans by rethinking how the company hires, develops and advances a historically underrepresented candidate pool.

Leaders said the company was a founding member of OneTen, a collective of corporations committed to hiring, training and advancing 1 million Black Americans to “family-sustaining jobs” in 10 years, and it is on pace to create 200 jobs “for a talented candidate pool that has historically lacked access to higher education or professional jobs” in the next two years.

Health equity

Eli Lilly pledged to find “systemic solutions” for Black Americans’ participation in clinical trials.

Since then, the company’s progress includes partnering with the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation to identify and overcome barriers to clinical trial participation for underrepresented communities in Indiana. Eli Lilly also continued funding the Diabetes Impact Project Indianapolis Neighborhoods to reduce health disparities related to diabetes.

Social impact

Eli Lilly pledged $25 million from the Lilly Foundation and 25,000 employee volunteer hours to combat racial injustice and inequality.

Company leaders said they have invested $15.6 million toward promoting racial justice and already exceeded their goal for employee volunteer hours, with more than 30,000 hours logged.

Diversity partners

Eli Lilly pledged to double its national annualized spending with Black suppliers and vendors over the first two years of the plan.

Company leaders say they more than doubled their spending with Black suppliers from $143 million to $358 million. That includes $74 million with Black business enterprises in Indianapolis, up from $37 million.

Other figures

Eli Lilly said it awarded $15.6million to Indianapolis-based nonprofits to combat racial injustice and $140,000 to a Martin University scholarship fund.

Contact senior staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853 or email tylerf@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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