Novartis President on Gender Equality

March 24, 2011 12:00 am

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., last year, was ordered by a jury to pay punitive damages to thousands of former and current women sales representatives who filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination. The company agreed to a $175-million settlement of the lawsuit.

DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti asked André Wyss, head of Pharma North America and president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., about the lawsuit, and Wyss answered candidly in front of 300 senior executives at our March learning event in Washington, D.C.

Wyss said the company fought the lawsuit very hard, until the trial revealed misconduct that it could not tolerate.

“We learned a lot,” Wyss said. “We have to make sure that if you have people who do not comply with the standards of the company and my own values and behaviors, and the values and behaviors of the company, we have to be rigorous with our positions and what we expect from the people.”

Video taken from our March 2011 event. For more information about our next events, please visit

VIDEO: Watch as Wyss talks about Novartis’ commitment to building an inclusive culture.