- Novo Nordisk, Regeneron and Roche are representing the pharmaceutical industry in the 2017 installment of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
- The business magazine rolled out its annual compilation on Thursday, with tech giant Google, supermarket chain Wegmans and management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group taking the top three spots. Novo Nordisk clocked in at 73rd, Regeneron at 85th, while Roche saw its subsidiary Genentech and its diagnostics division rank 6th and 70th, respectively.
- It's not particularly shocking to see those drugmakers on the list, given that it doesn't often deviate dramatically year-over-year with respect to the companies included and their rankings. Genentech, Novo Nordisk, Roche Diagnostics and Regeneron have been the only pharmaceutical representation in the assembly since 2015.
Genentech's spot on the list is basically cemented at this point. The Roche arm has made the 100 Best Companies to Work For 19 times since the list's inception in 1998. At least eight times the company has broken into the top 10. The company touts unlimited sick days, and on-site fitness center and college tuition reimburse as a few of its perks.
"The biotech giant has a 'casual intensity' vibe, says one staffer. “We are a very fun company, but at the end of the day we all know our part in the mission”—making drugs for life-threatening illnesses. Every time a medicine is FDA approved, employees ring a bell at the same time in celebration. (That happened four times in the past year.)," wrote one company reviewer.
Novo Nordisk's inclusion is a little more unexpected, however. While the Danish drumaker has made the list every year since 2009, it has struggled recently — chopping 1,000 jobs in late September as part of cost-savings efforts spawned from difficulties in the U.S. diabetes market.
The move didn't push the company off the list, but it likely contributed to its slide from 55th place in Fortune's 2016 list.
Overall, the pharmaceutical industry's performance on the list hasn't returned to the hayday it saw in the mid-2000s. In 2005, for example, six drug companies — Pfizer (#76), Eli Lilly (#73), Amgen (#33), Alcon Laboratories (#42), Genentech (#4) and Roche (#97) — as well as medical devices maker Medtronic (#71) — all made the top 100.
To compile the list, Fortune has partnered with survey and analysis firm Great Place to Work. The firm uses what's called a Trust Survey Index to poll employees on factors that affect the quality of their workplace lives, such as the strength of a company's leadership or the dynamic between coworkers. For Fortune's list, Great Place to Work also conducted a Culture Audit, "which reports details such as compensation and benefits, hiring practices, recognition, training, and diversity programs," according to the magazine.