How Diversity Is a Catalyst for Innovation

As Vertex employees gather to celebrate our commitment to diversity and promote an inclusive environment, we embrace diversity as an imperative to our mission.


May 25, 2017

By Damian Wilmot and Azin Nezami

Imagine what our world would look like if Rosalind Franklin hadn’t produced Photo 51 that led to the discovery of the structure of DNA, if Alan Turing hadn’t broken the Nazi code and set the theoretical foundation of computer sciences, and if Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Katherine Johnson hadn’t done the math and engineering to send John Glenn to space.

The solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems are discovered when we challenge one another with different approaches and leverage our unique backgrounds and skills. At Vertex, our mission to bring transformative medicines to people with cystic fibrosis and other serious diseases is a complex, audacious undertaking. But we know the key to innovation is our ability to grow a global network of diverse researchers, collaborators, patients, physicians and many others. For us, diversity isn’t a tactical element of our business plan; it’s a strategic and cultural imperative to achieving our mission.

That’s why this week, we dedicated time to celebrate the diverse culture that makes Vertex so special. It is this culture that brings us to work everyday knowing we will be welcomed and respected as the unique individuals we are, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. It's our obligation to one another, to our company and to patients to ensure that our behaviors continue to reflect these values.

Our Employee Resource Networks in collaboration with our senior leaders designed a series of activities and workshops about the things we can improve upon, which in turn, allowed us to appreciate the many different people and perspectives that make us stronger. Employees built on this momentum by sharing photos with personal messages about the important role diversity plays in their work and lives.

Together, we are fostering a culture that makes Vertex a great place to work.


Damian Wilmot
Vice President, Chief Litigation Counsel and Interim Head of Human Resources

Azin Nezami
Associate Director, Vertex Innovation & External Research