Top 10 global pharmaceutical companies to work for according to Glassdoor

Hannah Burke our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 30/05/2023
Top 10 pharmaceutical companies to work for

Updated: May 2023

Are you looking for a new role in the pharma industry? From employee benefits to work-life balance, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right job in life sciences.

The company review site, Glassdoor, can be useful when looking for the best pharmaceutical company to work for. It gives current, former and potential employees a platform to post truthful reviews about employers, helping you make an informed decision about which company is right for you.

We have used Glassdoor's platform to produce a list of the best pharmaceutical companies to work for. In order to qualify, a pharmaceutical company must have had over 3,000 reviews to ensure an accurate representation of what employees think. On Glassdoor, reviewers are asked to rate the pharma companies out of 5 in the following categories: work/life balance, culture & values, diversity & inclusion, career opportunities, compensation & benefits and senior management. They are also rated based on the likelihood that current employees would recommend the company as a place to work to a friend and the approval of the CEO.

Top 10 best pharma companies to work for:

1. Roche

Glassdoor rating: 4.3

Taking the crown as the best pharmaceutical company to work for is Roche. Located in over 100 countries, Roche is focused on evolving the practice of medicine and helping patients live longer, better lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made the company a pioneer in the personalised healthcare space. With over 7,000 reviews, an impressive 96% of employees approve of the CEO, Severin Schwan, who has headed up the group since 2008. In addition to this, 89% of employees would recommend Roche as an employer to a friend. Their reviews praise the business as a great company with a great overall purpose and give recognition to their development opportunities.

The company has received a number of accolades to support its ranking as a top employer. Most notably in 2022, Science Magazine recognized Roche as the top employer for R&D talent, and in 2021 Roche was recognized again as one of the World’s Best Workplaces by Great Place to Work. This industry honour is awarded to only 25 companies every year, making it a significant achievement.

2. Johnson & Johnson

Glassdoor rating: 4.2

Just missing out on the top spot, Johnson & Johnson, also known as J&J, is the runner-up on our list. The global pharma company was established in the US in 1886 and has since become a steadfast household name thanks to its wealth of well-known consumer goods including Tylenol, Listerine and Neutrogena. J&J has over 15,000 reviews on Glassdoor with an overall rating of 4.2. A striking 87% of reviewers would recommend J&J as a good place to work thanks to its positive working environment and great company benefits.

3. AstraZeneca

Glassdoor rating: 4.2

AstraZeneca takes third place in our list of the best pharmaceutical company to work for. A global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca’s purpose is to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines, and to do this they look to hire “diverse minds” and “bold disruptors” who want to make a meaningful impact. On Glassdoor, AstraZeneca has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5, with employees rating the company as a good place to work for work-life balance.

Employees also value the company’s stance towards equality, diversity and inclusion and the company has received a number of prestigious accolades to support this, including DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity 2022, Forbes Best Employers for Women and FT Leader in Diversity.

4. Bayer

Glassdoor rating: 4.2

Just missing out on the top 3, the German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, sits as the fourth best pharmaceutical company to work for. The company has an impressive 150-year history and is famed for developing the drug Aspirin in the late 19th century. The company has an impressive Glassdoor rating with an average of 4.2 out of 5, with a whopping 87% of employees willing to recommend the company to a friend and 80% of workers approving of the CEO. In reviews, employees value the great work environment and supportive management.

The company is keen to encourage flexibility, offering professionals a work schedule that best meets their personal needs from part-time to job sharing. This is reflected in the Glassdoor reviews, with people voting it a good company for work-life balance.

5. Merck

Glassdoor rating: 4.2

With over 6,000 ratings and an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5, Merck comes in at number 5 on our list. For more than 130 years, Merck has played a pivotal role in the development of life-saving medicines and vaccines and offers roles across the whole drug development process from R&D and clinical, to medical affairs and sales.

In their Glassdoor ratings, over 90% of employees approved of the CEO, Robert M Davis, who has been heading up the company as CEO since 2021, when he succeeded Chairman Ken Frazier. The company also scored well for culture and values, with an average score of 4.1 out of 5, with employees praising the company’s “positive working environment” and “focus on science”.

6. GSK

Glassdoor rating: 4.2

Headquartered in London, GSK is an international pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. GSK has over 12,000 reviews on Glassdoor with an impressive average overall score of 4.1 with people rating the company for its great working environment and good benefit packages.

GSK is one of the only leading pharmaceutical companies that is headed up by a female leader and 85% of reviewers said they approved of CEO, Emma Walmsley, who succeeded Sir Andrew Witty, who retired in early 2017. Employees also valued the company’s outlook on diversity and inclusion with a score of 4.2 out of 5. This commitment to diversity is supported by CEO, Emma Walmsley, who says on their join us page “Helping everyone to thrive individually, in all their diversity is what will help us get Ahead Together. I have never believed more that our success depends on our people and everyone having the chance to truly thrive at GSK.”

7. Pfizer

Glassdoor rating: 4.1

Seventh on our list of the best pharmaceutical companies to work for is Pfizer. Pfizer is an innovative global pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that focuses on scientific breakthroughs and developing revolutionary medicines. Since developing the first successful vaccination for Covid-19, Pfizer has become a household name and in recent years the company has tried to up its game even further by acquiring several companies including Global Blood Therapeutics Inc., Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd, and ReViral.

With thousands of reviews on Glassdoor, Pfizer has an average overall rating of 4.1 out of 5. Over 84% of reviewers say they would recommend the company to a friend, thanks to company benefits and many career opportunities. Pfizer is passionate about their people and scored 4.1 out of 5 for Diversity, with employees rating the “inclusive atmosphere” and “supportive structure”.

8. Amgen

Glassdoor rating: 4.1

In eighth place is Amgen, a pioneer in biotechnology. Amgen prides itself on being a values-based company, with a focus on transforming new ideas and discoveries into medicines for patients with serious illnesses. As an employer, reviewers on Glassdoor rated the company overall as 4.1 out of 5, with 90% approving of the CEO and 81% saying they would recommend the company to a friend. In reviews, people rated the company for encouraging a healthy work-life balance, great benefits and good leadership.

9. Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Glassdoor rating: 4.1

Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company, Takeda is ranked ninth on our list of the top pharmaceutical companies to work for. With partial American and British roots, it has established itself as the largest pharma company in Asia. The company has around 50,000 employees worldwide and focuses on drug innovation in the areas of oncology, gastroenterology and diabetes. In terms of being a good workplace, Takeda ranks highly on Glassdoor with an average overall ranking of 4.1 out of 5, with 90% approving of Christophe Weber as CEO and 86% of employees saying they would recommend Takeda to a friend. This score is largely owing to people approving of the company’s culture & values, and their stance towards diversity and inclusion, as well as compensation and benefit packages.

10. Novartis

Glassdoor rating: 4.0

Last but not least on our list is Novartis. A global healthcare company based in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis provides innovative solutions to help patients worldwide. With an overall score of 4 out of 5, Novartis has almost 10,000 reviews, and people rate the company for its flexible working arrangements, friendly work environment and understanding leadership. Nearly 8,000 people said they would recommend the company to a friend and 83% approve of how CEO Vas Narasimhan is running the company.

Interested in working for one of the leading pharmaceutical companies?

At Proclinical, we work with top pharmaceutical companies across the world to help them find the right people to manage and deliver across the full drug development process. Our dedicated team of life science experts are specialists in sourcing skilled and experienced professionals for a wide variety of roles at pharmaceutical organisations, from preclinical and clinical research to regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance and post-marketing research.

If you’re looking for a new job, simply send us your CV or use our job search tool to find the right role for you.