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Kindergarten to Careers

Kindergarten to Careers is Genentech’s enterprise-wide commitment to building pathways into our company and the broader healthcare industry for the next generation of diverse talent in science and medicine.

As a leader in the biotechnology industry, we believe we have a responsibility to drive meaningful change both within and outside of our walls by providing pathways into STEM fields for students along all stages of the education continuum. By encouraging diverse representation in the scientific and medical workforce, we can ensure future innovations meet the needs of all patients.

Kindergarten to Careers is an extension of our corporate D&I Commitments and our vision to Transform Society. Through this initiative, we are:

  • Changing our business practices by expanding early-in-career opportunities for the next generation of scientists and STEM professionals at Genentech. In 2021, we attracted one of our most diverse intern classes to date, and in 2020 we partnered with the FDA to launch our Howard University Regulatory Policy Program, a two-year fellowship for graduate students at Genentech.
  • Building connections with future talent and organizations serving diverse communities to expand career access and leveraging our employees as mentors and partners. Through Futurelab, our STEM education initiative, we support all K-12 students in the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) to help build their skills and capabilities in science and inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields. In 2022, we scaled our impact nationwide with Futurelab+, which offers a free industry- and standards-aligned high school biotechnology curriculum that equips teachers to engage students from a variety of backgrounds, includes lessons that address health equity and inclusivity in clinical research, and helps students understand the wide range of job opportunities available in STEM.
  • Strengthening the education and workforce systems by investing in education experts, academic institutions and nonprofits that serve diverse students and young professionals in need. In 2021, we invested $10.5M in barrier-breaking STEM programs, recently committed $5M to SFSU’s Catalyze the Future campaign to provide student access to leading-edge technologies, facilities and curricula, and are deepening our external partnerships through the 2022 Health Equity & Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund.

Inequities in Education and the Workforce

It can take more than 15 years to develop a medicine – and to raise an aspiring teen scientist. Today’s students are the researchers, physicians and innovators of tomorrow. But we recognize the scale of the challenges that make it so much harder for Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, low-income and other underrepresented youth to pursue and thrive in career pathways in science and medicine. Systemic and structural barriers affect students of color across society, within our industry, throughout the education system and at the student/family level, and as a result, the scientific and medical workforce does not adequately reflect the diversity of the patients it seeks to serve.

To confront these issues, we support all stages of the education continuum and are focused on creating career pathways for students from historically excluded and underrepresented backgrounds by building excitement about science in grades K-8, scaling career exploration in high school, providing wrap-around and financial support to students in undergraduate programs and investing in bridge programs that support transitions to STEM graduate education and training.

  • >1 in 3 Black and Hispanic/Latinx undergraduate students switch from a STEM major to another field before earning their degree to avoid experiencing bias/exclusion.*
  • 8-9% of the STEM workforce is made up of Hispanic/Latinx and Black workers – substantially lower than their 17% and 11% respective shares of the U.S. workforce across non-STEM industries.2
  • <1 in 10 female scientists and engineers self-identify as a member of an underrepresented group.3

*These experiences of inequality are observed to be less pronounced in other fields of study.1

Learn more about our Kindergarten to Careers approach and our work to help diversify the scientific and medical workforce by reading the stories below.