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The Diversity Index by Susan E. REED

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2 Merck’s Deliberate Strategy: Just Do It

FOR HALF OF THE NINE YEARS WHEN ROY VAGELOS WAS chief executive of Merck, the top management was a tightly knit group of Caucasian men who had begun their careers before the 1960s. Most had traditional marriages, including him, in which wives managed the house, the kids, and even their spouses for the most part. Sometimes, persuading his colleagues to give a big promotion to someone who was not like them was difficult. “A few were simply prejudiced against women, certain they couldn’t deal with the pressures of the executive suite,” Vagelos wrote in a memoir. Other colleagues were comfortable with the positions they had achieved and were “convinced that all of their decisions about promotion were unbiased ...

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