Organon: Advancing Gender Equity by Securing a Better Future for Women’s Health

Among the many businesses and stakeholders that form the vast global healthcare industry, finding a company with a distinct social purpose and mission can sometimes be difficult, particularly when it comes to the increasingly important area of women’s health. After all, women are disproportionately impacted by myriad healthcare challenges, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seeking to rectify that gender-related disparity in health outcomes is Organon, a multinational healthcare company formed as a spinoff of Merck, Sharp, and Dohme (MSD) in 2020. With its stated mission of delivering impactful medicines and solutions for a healthier every day and its already impressive portfolio of over 60 products covering a wide range of therapeutic areas, Organon strives to improve health equity in the more than 140 markets it serves by addressing women’s unmet medical needs.

In Taiwan, where Organon recently celebrated one year of operations, the company is working to leverage its two pillars of women’s health and established medicines to help tackle the challenges posed by a steeply declining birthrate and high rate of unintended pregnancies.

“As a company that’s focused on women’s health, we recognize our responsibility to provide, in addition to our products and solutions, education and support for families in Taiwan throughout the family-planning process,” says Organon Taiwan Executive Director & Commercial Lead Jeremy Sowers. “Taiwan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. We’re committed to working together with policy stakeholders to make a difference on this important issue, ultimately helping more women achieve their family planning goals.”

Organon Taiwan Executive Director & Commercial Lead Jeremy Sowers

Part of that commitment is a dedication to upholding and advancing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. The company’s approach, outlined in its 2021 ESG report, focuses on three main areas: Her Equity, Her Planet, and Her Trust.

In terms of equity, Sowers notes that Organon’s primary goal is to address well-known gender-related disparities in health effectively. “We hope to redefine and harness innovation to help women and girls achieve their promise and lead healthier, more empowered lives,” he says. “By doing so, we will build a more sustainable future for women, families, economies, and society.”

Sowers adds that given the data showing that climate change and the attendant resource scarcity disproportionately affect women, the second area of ensuring a healthy planet is integral to helping women and girls achieve their promise. Organon is thus working to significantly reduce its environmental impact through efficiently using energy, water, and materials in its operations, and the company supports the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Lastly, to earn women’s trust, Organon has devoted itself to transparent and ethical corporate governance. To that end, it aims to achieve balanced gender representation at all levels of the organization by 2030, as well as pay equity. “With these goals in mind, we aspire to reflect within our company the kind of gender equity we hope to one day see throughout the world,” says Sowers.

The impetus to achieve such admirable ambitions is baked into the company’s DNA. “From the very beginning, there’s been a strong drive to ensure an exceptionally diverse team, from the board on down,” Sowers says. “The company has been globally recognized for this – our Board of Directors boasts more women than any other S&P500 healthcare company, and half of the leadership at the company are women.”

That drive is carried over to Organon Taiwan as well, he says, emphasizing that over 60% of the office’s staff and leadership team are women. To enhance its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at the local level, Sowers and his team have also begun offering benefits specifically tailored to ensuring the wellness of its majority female staff, including 12 weeks of maternity, parental, or adoption leave, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Organon Taiwan also allows for flexible work arrangements for employees, empowering them to choose what works best for them in balancing the many demands of their personal and professional lives. The company went a step further this year in providing paid leave for all its employees on International Women’s Day. “We wanted to give our staff this time to spend it as they saw best, and to take actions in furtherance of women’s rights,” says Sowers.

As a relative newcomer to Taiwan’s established healthcare market, Organon certainly has its work cut out for it. Yet Sowers sees great things for the company on the horizon.

“The diverse Organon organization has a deep knowledge of this market and passion for addressing the barriers that women face to achieving improved health outcomes. This gives me great confidence we can take this new company to ambitious heights impacting women’s health in Taiwan.”