Top 10 pharmaceutical companies to work for according to Glassdoor

Monique Ellis our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 13/02/2019
Top 10 pharmaceutical companies to work for according to Glassdoor


Glassdoor is a website where employees from companies across the world can post honest reviews about their employers, in an effort to help prospective employees make an informed decision about where is best to work. ProClinical has used Glassdoor's platform to analyse which are the best pharmaceutical companies to work for, according to honest employee ratings and feedback.

In order to qualify for this top pharma employer 10 list, a pharmaceutical company must have over 500 reviews to ensure a more accurate representation of what employees think about the company. On Glassdoor, reviewers are asked to rate the pharma companies out of 5 in the following categories: work/life balance, culture & values, career opportunities, compensation & benefits and senior management. Have a look below to find out which areas the high-scoring pharmaceutical company excel in. They are also rated based on the likelihood that current employees would recommend the company as a place to work to a friend. 

In cases where companies have the same overall score, those with a higher 'Recommend to a Friend' score have ranked higher on this list. This is because advocacy is a very significant marker in determining the level of employee engagement at a company. Also, potential employees will naturally put more trust in recommendations by current employees to paint an accurate picture of what it's like to work there.  

10. Sanofi


Glassdoor rating: 3.6

Sanofi is a leading French biopharmaceutical company and a staple in ProClinical's top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world list each year. The company focuses on 7 major therapeutic areas which include oncology, cardiovascular, CNS and vaccines - of which it's subsidiary Sanofi Pasteur is the biggest producer in the world. According to Glassdoor ratings, Sanofi scored highest in the categories of compensation and benefits and work/life balance, and 70% of employees would recommend the company as a place to work to a friend. In 2018, Sanofi was recognised as a 'Top Employer' by the Top Employers Institute for an exemplary employee-centric strategy that provides the company's 110,000 employees worldwide with excellent working conditions.

9. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)


Glassdoor rating: 3.6

Before the historic merging of Bristol-Myers and Squibb in 1985, each company had a reputation steeped in history dating back to the mid 1800s - including Squibb being a major supplier during the American Civil War. Since joining forces, BMS has gone from strength to strength and has always been a respected and well-liked employer. The company excelled in the Glassdoor categories of compensation and benefits, culture and values and work/life balance and 74% of employees would recommend BMS as a place to work.

In 2018 alone, BMS was awarded numerous accolades marking their continued position as a top pharmaceutical employer. Among these was CareerBliss Happiest Companies in America, NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women, Best-of-the-Best Corporations for Inclusion by National Business Inclusion Consortium and Working Mother 100 Best Companies of 2018.

8. Novartis

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Glassdoor rating: 3.7

Winning a place on the 2018 Top Employers UK list compiled by the Top Employer’s Institute, Novartis Pharmaceuticals is a well-established global leader in the life sciences industry. The company, based in Switzerland, specialises in many therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology, dermatology and cell and gene therapy. Scoring generally high in all areas, Glassdoor reviewers were particularly impressed with the company’s culture & values and compensation & benefits. Some reviews focused on the dynamic, international working environment, while others praised Novartis’ innovation and dedication to delivering.

In 2018, Novartis came 2nd in the Thomas Reuters Diversity and Inclusion Index to acknowledge their dedication to providing equal opportunity to all, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. 

7. Bayer

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Glassdoor rating: 3.8

The German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, has an impressive 150-year history and is famed for developing the drug Aspirin in the late 19th century. The company scored an impressive Glassdoor rating, with 75% of employees willing to recommend the company to a friend. A firm favourite, Bayer was listed as Germany’s top employer in the 2018 ‘Focus’ ranking of employers, as well as achieving 13th place on Glassdoor’s best places to work in Germany. According to over 1,800 Glassdoor reviews, Bayer is a top-scorer in work/life balance and compensation & benefits and also does very well in career opportunities and cultures and values. The reviews include many positive details about the good company structure, supportive management and competitive salaries.

6. Eli Lilly

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Glassdoor rating: 3.8

Founded 140 years ago in the USA, Eli Lilly is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company is consistently ranked as an exceptional employer, receiving recognition in a wide range of employer awards. In 2018, these included Top Companies for LGBT Employees, Top 50 Companies for Diversity and Women's Choice Award for Best Places to Work for Millennials and Women. According to over 1,700 Glassdoor reviews, Eli Lilly is commended for its culture & values above all, as well as compensation & benefits and work/life balance.

5. AbbVie


Glassdoor rating: 3.8

Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie employs over 30,000 people worldwide and features each year on the top 10 pharmaceutical companies list. Despite being established very recently in 2013 - following its separation from Abbott Laboratories - AbbVie has quickly become a popular employer. The company scored highly in many categories on Glassdoor - particularly compensation & benefits and culture & values - and an impressive 80% of employees would recommend AbbVie to a friend. 

The company has been recognised as a leading employer in recent years and won several awards in 2018 alone. Among the most notable accolades was being one of the World's Best Workplaces, a Top 50 Company for Diversity and a Science Top Employer. 


4. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

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Glassdoor rating: 3.9

GSK is a global pharmaceutical and vaccine company founded in the UK. A firm favourite with Glassdoor reviewers, GSK has also made it on their list of best places to work in the UK. The company is recognised for its culture and values and work/life balance, suggesting that the company esteems its employee’s happiness and wellbeing very highly. Other GSK Glassdoor reviews spoke highly of training and development and compensation/benefits, and 76% of current employees would recommend GSK as a place to work. An impressive 85% of employees approve of GSK's CEO, Emma Walmsley - the first female CEO to run a top 10 pharmaceutical company. 

3. Roche

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Glassdoor rating: 3.9

One of the largest pharmaceutical companies, Roche Pharmaceuticals is a Swiss company present in over 100 countries. Founded over 100 years ago, the company has grown to be a global leader in several disease areas including infectious diseases, immunology, and cardiovascular and metabolism. Roche comfortably makes it into the top 3, with 80% of employees willing to recommend Roche as an employer and 91% approving of the company’s CEO, Severin Schwan. The reviews praise Roche for its excellent work/life balance and career opportunities, with several suggesting that there is good communication and networking with international colleagues. 

Already in 2019, Roche Pharma and Roche Diagnostics has been awarded Top Employer in the UK and Europe. In 2018, Roche received recognition as a Science Top Employer, Best Workplaces in Health Care and BioPharma and Glassdoor's 2019 Best Places to Work based entirely on employee feedback. 

2. Pfizer

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Glassdoor rating: 3.9

Another American biopharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, has earned its place as a global leader thanks to best-selling, world-renowned drugs such as Viagra and Lyrica. The company develops drugs for a broad range of therapeutic areas such as immunology and cardiology. With over 3,200 Glassdoor reviews, Pfizer has come out as a well-rounded employer on Glassdoor, scoring highly in each category.  Particular praise was given in terms of work/life balance and compensation & benefits.

Several Glassdoor reviews mentioned excellent international career opportunities and the option to undertake training and development. Glassdoor also shows that 81% of employees would recommend Pfizer as a place to work and 88% approve of the company's CEO, Ian Read. 

1. Johnson & Johnson

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Glassdoor rating: 3.9

Johnson & Johnson take the crown as best pharmaceutical employer according to Glassdoor in 2019. The global pharma company was established in America in 1886 and has since become a steadfast household name thanks to its wealth of well-known consumer goods including Benadryl, Listerine and Neutrogena. J&J has nearly 5,000 employee reviews on the site, by and large celebrating the company for their culture & values, excellent career opportunities and stimulating working environment. In 2018, J&J was named on the list of Best Places to Work for People with Disabilities and won awards for Best Company for Diversity and Best CEOs for Diversity by Comparably.

ProClinical is a pharmaceutical recruitment company that is dedicated to helping professionals to find their ideal position working for many of these top pharmaceutical employers. To register your interest, upload your CV and kick start your new search.

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