Indy Racial Equity Pledge


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Lilly and the Lilly Foundation stand united in our intent to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture within our company and our communities. Lilly and the Lilly Foundation have created a Racial Justice Initiative to help drive meaningful change within our company and our community. As part of our community efforts, we commit to bringing people and organizations together to acknowledge racial inequity in its many forms and create a call to action for lasting change.


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Lilly pledges to further increase the current representation of African Americans from approximately 10% to 13%.

Focus Area: Workplace

Lilly has been working for more than a half-decade to build a stronger, more diverse culture and we’ve made progress, but we recognize there is more we can do. We pledge to further increase the current representation of African Black Americans from approximately 10% to 13% in our U.S. workforce to align more closely with U.S. demographics of the patients and communities we serve. This won’t happen overnight, but we have the strategies in place—and we’re accelerating progress—to get there.


Having diverse talent at Lilly is critically important to our innovation strategy and our ability to serve all patient populations. To reach the goal of increasing representation of Black Americans from approximately 10% to 13% in our workforce, over the last year we have focused on further and more fully incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our talent management system and practices.

We continue to stay focused on creating and identifying opportunities that will enable us to reach this goal. Some examples include:

  • Lilly joined OneTen, an organization that will combine the power of other committed American companies to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining, also known as, “Good Jobs,” with opportunities for advancement.

  • Lilly is actively developing programs to enable more family-sustaining jobs for Blacks Americans and individuals from other marginalized communities through its Skills First initiative—the goal of which is to eliminate the default bachelor’s degree for some jobs at Lilly.

  • Lilly developed a Professional Apprenticeship Program, which provides individuals without college degrees access to roles at Lilly that they may not have had through traditional recruiting means. More than 20 people have participated thus far, with more cohorts planned for 2022 and beyond.

  • Lilly developed and launched a new nationally registered Department of Labor Craft Apprenticeship Program, which will provide skill-based on-the-job training while earning a technical certification or associates degree at Ivy Tech. Job roles for this program are in our manufacturing sites and include maintenance mechanic, HVAC mechanic, instrument technician and welder.

  • While Lilly had previously had a robust recruitment pipeline with many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), we have expanded our outreach, establishing two new recruiting relationships with Morehouse School of Medicine and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. For the first time, we will be hosting an HBCU Day at Lilly Corporate Center in Indianapolis is Spring 2022. Students from six HBCUs where Lilly has not been as active in recruiting from will be participating.


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Lilly will double the national annualized spend with African American suppliers and vendors over the next two years.

Focus Area: Prosperity

Our Racial Justice Initiative aims to help drive equity—creating interventions and solutions to provide specific opportunities to level the playing field and create more equality. Within the company, one area we aim to improve is our supplier diversity, by doubling the annualized spend with African American suppliers and vendors over the next two years.


  • Lilly has increased its national spend with Black businesses by 50% in the past year and we are on track to meet our goal of doubling the annualized spend with Black American business enterprises in 2022.

  • In 2021, Lilly launched a Mentor Protégé Program to develop small/diverse suppliers by sharing Lilly methodologies and industry best practices thereby increasing their readiness for future business needs. The program serves as an incubator for diverse solutions to Lilly’s supply chain.

  • In 2022, Lilly will implement Supplier Diversity training for all management level employees, which will show the positive broader economic impact of creating a level playing field for small/diverse suppliers to compete and win business contracts.


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The Lilly Foundation and Cummins Foundation commit a total of $500,000 to the Indianapolis Urban League to invest in African American-owned businesses and entrepreneurship.

Focus Areas: Prosperity

The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and the Cummins Foundation each have granted the Indianapolis Urban League $250,000 to establish an Entrepreneurship Center to provide impactful programming and support to African American entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. Through these grants, the Indianapolis Urban League will aid aspiring African American entrepreneurs in developing effective businesses, enable existing African American entrepreneurs to grow, and create jobs for minorities in Indianapolis.


  • In June 2021, the Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) Entrepreneurship Center was launched to assist entrepreneurs with developing, launching, sustaining, and growing minority small businesses in Central Indiana and surrounding counties. The Entrepreneurship Center provides future and current small business owners with access to in-person and virtual workshops, short-term industry recognized training credentials, individualized coaching, and support to leverage resources, maximize revenue, reduce costs, increase profitability, and create job opportunities.

  • The Lilly Foundation also awarded grants to support the creation and launch of the Business Equity for Indy Committee, a joint committee of the Indy Chamber of Commerce and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.


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Lilly invests $1 million to Lynx Capital Corporation for growth capital for African American-owned businesses.

Focus Areas: Prosperity

Lilly aims to invest in initiatives and actions to create more fairness and equity for African Americans. As part of this effort, Lilly will invest $1 million capital to LYNX Capital Corporation, which provides growth capital to minority-owned businesses in Indiana. This investment will enable LYNX to provide more assistance to minority-owned businesses.


  • Lilly invested $1 million in LYNX Capital Corporation in October 2020.

  • In January 2021, Lilly announced a $30 million limited partner commitment to the Unseen Capital Health Fund, a venture fund created by racially diverse and historically underrepresented business leaders. The fund is intended to identify, fund and support underrepresented founders of early-stage healthcare companies and those building solutions for marginalized communities.

  • In May 2021, Lilly announced an investment in Sixty8 Capital, an Indianapolis-based Black-owned, venture capital firm supporting Black, Latinx, women and LGBTQ+ startups. The firm’s goal is to open the door to these missed opportunities for diverse innovators and empower invaluable change within our communities.

Join us in the important work of creating racial equity in Central Indiana.

Email us to learn more.