Our primary focus at Sarepta is bringing potentially lifesaving and life-changing medicines to rare disease patients around the world. Currently, we have over 40 programs in various stages of development. The pillars that support our important mission are our 5 cultural values which permeate the hearts and minds of every Sarepta employee, who work tirelessly every day on behalf of the patients and families awaiting new treatments.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is woven into the fabric of our identity. As a growing biotechnology company, our dedication to human health and our desire to make a positive impact in the world extends to our employees. We strive to deliver an inclusive environment and want the experience of every member of the Sarepta team to be positive, professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling.
Sarepta’s cultural values, the foundational behaviors that support the way we operate, embed our shared commitment to inclusivity in our day-to-day actions. At Sarepta, we value diverse and innovative self-starters who are committed to excellence and improving the lives of our patients.
We are committed to ensuring our innovations reach as many patients as possible, as quickly as possible. We believe it is our responsibility to act as a true partner with patient communities, both in the near- and long-term.
SareptAssist is a patient support program designed to provide individuals with the information to navigate the process of starting and staying on therapy. This program is for individuals residing in the United States who are eligible for treatment with a Sarepta product.
We have dedicated professionals who make up our global Patient Affairs team. They work every day to ensure the patient voice is incorporated into our work. We regularly engage with the patient community through informational webinars, awareness and fundraising events such as community walks/runs and through ongoing dialogue at advocacy and scientific conferences around the globe. Throughout our global offices, annual recognition of Rare Disease Day, Duchenne Action Month, Duchenne Awareness Day, Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy Awareness Day and several other awareness events are opportunities for our passionate team to demonstrate a shared commitment to the individuals and patients we aim to serve.
The patient voice is also an important and regular aspect of our quarterly All Employee Meetings. We frequently invite a patient or member of the community to speak and spend part of the day with us. We’ve instituted robust philanthropic initiatives, including a Grants & Donations program, Sponsorships, Fellowships, Investigator-Initiated Studies, and Medical Education Grants. In 2018, we launched our first scholarship program designed to help defray the cost of higher education for individuals living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
At Sarepta, we strive to promote diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and personal development across the organization. In the area of gender diversity, representation of women has increased over the past several years: in 2017 and 2018, women made up 51% of our workforce and in 2019, this percentage increased to 54%. As of January 2020, women made up 55% of our workforce and the number of women in leadership positions at the same time has consistently increased. In 2017, women represented 35% of the leadership positions at the Director level and above. This percentage increased to 36% in 2018, 44% in 2019 and 48% as of January 2020. Our commitment to gender diversity is also apparent in our Board composition, where, as of March 31, 2020, women held 28.6% of the board seats, including the Chair of the Board.
Racial and ethnic diversity has also increased significantly in the past few years, from 23% of our workforce being racially/ethnically diverse in 2017 and 2018, to 26% in 2019 and 30% as of January 2020. Overall, approximately 70% of our workforce is made up of historically underrepresented populations (including women and minorities) as of January 2020. We are particularly proud to share that half of our Executive Committee, which represents the most senior leadership positions in the Company, is diverse based on gender and ethnicity.
We have launched four Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that aim to foster an environment where all of our colleagues feel valued for their unique perspectives and are empowered to contribute to the success of our organization and their personal career growth.
As a part of fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion at Sarepta and to provide opportunities for mentoring, sponsorship, growth and development across the organization, the Sarepta Forward Initiative was created to ignite critical forward-thinking conversations, meaningful actions, and open dialogue on diversity-related topics with our Board members and/or senior leaders.
Supporting and giving back to the communities in which we live and work are at the core of our values. Our initiatives include:
We are committed to our employees and believe in the importance of supporting them in all aspects of their lives. We aspire to maintain a culture of wellness and development through a variety of programs:
In support of our employees’ continued growth and ongoing success, we have a global goal-setting and development planning process and seek to promote a culture of continuous learning through the programs below:
We have a responsibility to protect our environment and understand that individual actions make a difference. Sarepta is mindful of its footprint and makes efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. We are committed to being environmentally responsible members of the community and support employees in that effort as well. We sponsor the following programs: