Boehringer Ingelheim narrowly beat out Genentech and Amgen in Science's annual survey of top employers in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and related industries. The survey was based on industry responses by participants to whom they regarded as the best, average and worst employers in the field. Respondents then rated the companies that they had chosen on 23 driving characteristics, such as financial strength, adaptation to change and a research-driven environment. Only those companies rated by at least 20 respondents qualified for inclusion in the survey.
While this survey might be seen as a popularity contest (63 percent of participants work for the employers that they regarded as best), the rankings for most important driving characteristics were interesting. The top six drivers in order were: 1. being an innovative leader; 2. treating employees with respect; 3. having work cultures aligned with personal values; 4. having loyal employees; 5. being socially responsible; and 6. doing important quality research. Respondents also were asked about the industry as a whole. According to the survey, what should companies do to improve their own and the industry's reputation? Be honest, ethical, and more accountable as well as educate and communicate with the public.