June 2nd, 2016

What It’s Like to Be a Working Woman in Japan

By Sarah McKensey, Human Resources Director, Supply Chain, Japan

What It’s Like to Be a Working Woman in Japan

Finance Manager Yoshihisa Murayama (with daughters Rio and Yui) was the first Johnson & Johnson employee in Japan to take paternity leave in 2006.

Two years ago, I arrived in Japan from Australia with a stomach full of butterflies—and not just because it was a new job, a new country and a new culture for me.

I was also four months pregnant.

Given all the things I’d heard about Japan—including its legendary long working hours—I was worried about how I would be perceived.

Would it be frowned upon that I took maternity leave? How long could I take off without upsetting my colleagues?

My concerns were soon dispelled. In addition to being quickly reminded by many Japanese colleagues that I was still working for a company committed to supporting working mothers and fathers around the world, albeit in a new role, I was also coming to Japan at a very interesting time.

As a significant portion of Japan’s population has been moving into retirement age, there has been a concerted effort to drive greater levels of female participation and advancement in the workforce. There’s even a term for it: “womenomics.” It’s actually part of a larger government economic revival strategy focused on leveraging the untapped female talent pool by doing things like encouraging corporations to publicize their voluntary diversity targets.

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May 26th, 2016

When Patients Take the Lead: How Grassroots Advocacy Is Changing Healthcare in Asia

By Kris Sterkens, Company Group Chairman, Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, Asia Pacific

Grassroots Advocacy in Asia

Patient advocates assembled in front of the Korean National Assembly to call for a new law to protect patients

One of the most inspiring things about working in the healthcare industry is the potential for truly improving the lives of patients.

After my brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I directly experienced how a disease can disrupt, distress and derail an entire family—and also experienced the joy and relief that came with watching him reclaim his life after receiving the right medicine.

Now my family is enduring the emotional toll of Alzheimer’s disease as it continues to grip my father. While we were first encouraged by his initial response to one of the latest treatments, he’s struggling again. But our despair is mixed with the hope that scientific innovation will rescue him.

So it was with a particularly personal interest that I had the privilege of delivering a “Putting Patients First” keynote address at the annual FT Asia Healthcare & Life Sciences Summit in Singapore yesterday.

The summit brought together industry professionals and thought leaders to discuss the future of the healthcare sector in the Asia Pacific region, and I spoke about trends in patient empowerment that are poised to make a real difference in the way medical treatment is viewed and delivered moving forward.

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May 25th, 2016

Wise Advice for the Class of 2016: “If You Focus on Building Your Character, a Great Career Will Follow”

Peter Fasolo speaks to graduates of the Quinnipiac University School of Business & Engineering.

Peter Fasolo speaks to graduates of the Quinnipiac University School of Business & Engineering.

Peter Fasolo, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Johnson & Johnson, recently had the privilege of speaking at the commencement ceremony for the Quinnipiac University School of Business & Engineering in Connecticut. He advised the graduates to defy conventional wisdom by experimenting and not being afraid to make mistakes along the way. See below for his inspiring message focused on the importance of leadership, resilience and knowing your values.

It’s such an honor to celebrate with you today.

It’s a pleasure to share this occasion with so many proud faculty members, parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends… whose love, support, and mentorship have helped you reach this moment.

Frank was very kind in his introduction. I asked him what I should talk about today. He said, “About 12 minutes.” That’s advice I intend to take.

So, if you’ll indulge me for just a few moments, I’d like to share a little of that perspective with you—in the hope that it may ease your path… and help you grow into the strong, compassionate, and moral leaders our society so desperately needs.

I Know You’re Anxious

One thing we all understand about the world—whether you’re in your 20s like you or in your 50s like me —is how competitive it has become.

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May 19th, 2016

Unique Device Identification: The New Technology That Could Save Lives

By Tom Jones, Director End-to-End of Traceability and Unique Device Identification (UDI) Program Director for Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain


Most people today are familiar with barcodes. They can be found on almost any item you purchase from a retail store: gum, fruit, ice cream, shoes, clothing—the list is endless.

Barcodes are valuable because they provide a way to identify a product electronically. We can thank barcodes for getting us through the grocery checkout line faster, since they provide key information on store inventory, pricing and other details with just a swipe of a scanner.

When it comes to medical devices, using unique barcodes for identification is fairly new. Several years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized the potential risks of not being able to accurately identify each medical device out in the world because there are tens of thousands of versions and different models on the market today.

Let’s say you or someone you know has a knee or hip replacement. You want to be assured that the device the hospital ordered is the exact one prescribed for your procedure and captured in your medical records.

With the recent implementation of Unique Device Identification (UDI), you can be even more confident that the product you are receiving is the right one.

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May 18th, 2016

How the Global Fund for Women Technology Initiative Can Help Empower Women Worldwide

By Lauren Moore, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship

Women Technology Initiative

Photo credit: Global Fund for Women

This week I am surrounded by thousands of advocates, policymakers, donors, heads of state, NGOs, health practitioners and young agents of change at the Women Deliver 2016 conference in Copenhagen.

It’s a privilege to be here with people from around the world, all to discuss one thing: how to work together to push for new and ambitious commitments toward improving the lives of girls and women.

Having spent the last six years of my career at eBay, in the heart of Silicon Valley, I’ve seen firsthand how digital technologies can have a strong impact on people in the farthest corners of the world. Greater connectivity can foster learning, increase economic growth and provide life-changing information for women and girls that can promote their health, education and wellbeing.

As mobile phone networks proliferate and cover even more areas around the world, we have the chance to affect the lives of people who need the help most, creating big changes in how women learn, access health information, make cash payments, cultivate local agriculture and even participate in government.

Bolstering the Health of Women Through Technology

Innovation is at Johnson & Johnson’s core.

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May 16th, 2016

8 Reasons Why the World Is a Far Better Place Today For Girls Around the Globe

Women Deliver 2016–the largest gathering dedicated to the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women around the world–kicks off in Copenhagen this week.

The goal of the conference?

Bring together world and private-sector leaders, policymakers, journalists, advocates, researchers and young people to discuss one big topic–how to make the world a better place for babies, girls and women the world over.

For a glimpse at what it’s all about, check out this interactive infographic, which illustrates just how much of a difference we can make by coming together.

Johnson and Johnson is proud to be a sponsor of the Women Deliver 2016 Conference.

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May 16th, 2016

So What Do You Do, Joy Marini?

Johnson & Johnson’s executive director of worldwide corporate contributions discusses her unique role at the company—and her current passion project, Women Deliver 2016.

By Nanette Varian

Joy Marini with Malawi hospital staff who’ve received training in the Helping Babies Breathe program.

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May 13th, 2016

Math Is Where It’s At: How a Love of Numbers Can Get You Ahead in Any Career

IAS lead photo

Johnson & Johnson engineers at the company’s world headquarters in New Jersey.

“When am I ever going to use this math in real life? I’m not planning to be a mathematician or a math teacher.”

If this thought crossed your mind while you were sitting in a high school algebra class, you’re certainly not alone. But the truth is that math’s lessons reach far beyond the classroom—the analytical skills you develop from working with numbers can come in handy in a surprisingly wide range of career paths.

That was the message of a recent talk, “Math in the Real World: More Than Just a Numbers Game,” given by Sandi Peterson, group worldwide chairman at Johnson & Johnson, and Kathy Wengel, worldwide vice president of the Johnson & Johnson supply chain.

Their joint presentation was part of a “Women in Mathematics” event held yearly at Princeton University and co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), with the goal of inspiring undergraduate and graduate students alike to open their minds to the myriad ways math can be applied to life.

Peterson’s work takes her all over the world, including Japan.

The Power of Numbers in the Workplace

Both Peterson and Wengel, Princeton alumnae themselves, can attest to that message personally.

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May 13th, 2016

The White House Announces New Funding for Microbiome Research

By Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Human Microbiome Institute

Janssen Human Microbiome Institute

Sometimes, big opportunities spring from the smallest seeds—or in the case of a landmark call to action from the White House today—bugs.

The bugs I’m talking about are the trillions of microbes that live in and on us, collectively known as the human microbiome.

Throughout medical history, we saw these microbiota as the enemy—a source of illness to be eradicated. Yet recent discoveries have revealed that the microbiome plays a unique and crucial role in disease and wellness.

Today, microbiome science is exploding, with advances occurring in parallel across many disease areas. At Janssen, we believe the microbiome presents an unprecedented opportunity to change the face and future of healthcare, and we are seeking to use these tiny bugs in big ways to not only treat disease, but also to intercept illness and promote health.

The Microbiome Gets a Funding Boost

We are certainly not alone in our quest.

Today, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) announced The National Microbiome Initiative to prioritize funding and other resources to realize the promise of microbiome science.

To translate today’s exciting efforts into interventions to improve human health, the life science industry has a unique opportunity to evolve and accelerate novel drug discovery and develop approaches that are potentially more natural and personalized.

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May 12th, 2016

Women Deliver 2016: Unleashing the Power of Young People to Help Improve the World

By Joy Marini, Executive Director, Worldwide Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Mamar, whom I met in Ethiopia, taught me how feedback from our youngest advocates can help change healthcare policies and services for the better.

In the Middle Ages, there was a Latin phrase that came to represent the idea that all public policies should be created with the full participation of everyone who’d be affected by them, even (and especially) groups generally excluded from political, social and economic opportunities.

Next week at Women Deliver 2016, this phrase—nihil de nobis, sine nobis, or “nothing about us, without us”— will be the rallying cry as hundreds of young people join world governments, NGOs, global philanthropic organizations and health practitioners at the largest conference on the health, rights and well-being of girls and women in more than a decade.

As it turns out, today’s youth are using that ancient concept to change our 21st-century local and global agendas.

What We Can Learn From the Young

While in Ethiopia visiting the Fistula Foundation, with which Johnson & Johnson has a partnership, I met a young woman named Mamar.

At 16 years old, she had suffered from obstetric fistula, a debilitating injury caused by childbirth.

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