GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Strives for Inclusion Culture Change

As a global healthcare company committed to building a company culture based on innovation, performance, and trust, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines (GSK) sought to build a sustainable strategy for inclusion and diversity.


GSK has the ambition to transition into a more modern employer that prioritizes employees’ health and wellbeing, offers development opportunities for all, and moves inclusion and diversity beyond compliance training.

GSK required a consulting and training partner that could equip their employees with the skills to identify and mitigate unconscious bias and model inclusive behaviors, creating a more inclusive workplace.

The interest in topics such as Inclusion & Diversity I saw coming from different departments urged me to ensure we could offer a standardized, streamlined program to our internal customers, hence meeting their needs in terms of content, duration, and methodology.

— Miranda Suys, Learning Business Partner, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines

Figuring Out the Solution

Aperian Global consultants co-authored project goals through dialogue with the Global Learning & Organisation development team within Vaccines. Assessments highlighted the following needs:

  • Developing inclusive role models on the leadership team
  • Establishing a foundation of unconscious bias awareness
  • Teaching practical skills and actions to mitigate unconscious bias
  • Helping internal customers access unconscious bias learning resources

Making Leadership Team Ambassadors for Inclusion and Diversity

To demonstrate their commitment to an inclusive company culture change at GSK, the GIO Leadership Team participated in the first Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Behaviors learning sessions.

The expectation was that leaders identify and practice at least one or two new inclusive behaviors, becoming an informal diversity and inclusion ambassador for their teams and the organization.

Developing a Baseline of Unconscious Bias Awareness

GSK Vaccines GIO wanted to establish a foundation of unconscious bias knowledge across the organization, so training was rolled out across the organization. Each workshop included theory but was largely action-based. Participants learned how to identify and then mitigate unconscious bias while trying out new inclusive behaviors and actions in their work environments.

Establishing Skills to Mitigate Unconscious Bias

Participants created personal bias mitigation strategies and learned about everyday inclusive behaviors through video, hands-on activities—including the Inclusive Behaviors Inventory—group discussions around the C.I.A.O. model, and finally, peer-coaching to identify new ways to modify work behavior.

Imparting New Knowledge onto Internal Customers

To help leadership share their new knowledge with internal team members, Aperian Global made inclusion and diversity resources and tools available in GSK’s learning management system. By making materials accessible on GSK’s internal site, ongoing learning is available organization-wide.


With around 100,000 employees worldwide, GSK prioritizes being an innovative, trustworthy global healthcare company not only by the products they produce but how they train and treat their staff members. Beginning with a Diversity and Inclusion pilot project to having over 450 GSK managers complete the training workshop, as well as making valuable diversity and inclusion resources available company-wide on their learning management system, we foresee continued global growth on GSK’s horizon.

Out of 390 Diversity and Inclusion workshop participants:

  • 95% stated after the program they understood the concepts of unconscious bias and inclusion and diversity, and how it can impact their work.
  • 94% stated the program’s facilitation drove insightful exchanges.