New sustainability lead is inspired by role, Baxter's culture
Baxter was recently named a Top 75 Companies for Executive Women and a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. We sat down with Kris Morico, vice president of Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) and co-president of the Baxter Equality Network business resource group, to discuss her impressions of Baxter since joining the company in July 2020. Kris is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Q: Tell me about your decision to join Baxter.
Kris: Over the course of my 36-year career, Baxter was one of the companies I’d always kept an eye on, for a variety of reasons. For example, Baxter's Corporate Responsibility Report was something I looked at as a paragon of organizational transparency and operational sustainability. For me, there's simply nothing better than being part of a leading Fortune 500 company whose mission is to Save and Sustain Lives. Culturally, I think Baxter is a great fit with its underpinning focus on ethics, and compliance as well as collaboration — which is one of our culture levers — and a strong vision for the future.
Q: Baxter continues to be recognized for its Diversity & Inclusion practices, most recently as one of the top workplaces for female executives, as well as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. What are your impressions of the company's efforts in these areas?
Kris: Baxter's commitment to diversity and inclusion is exceptional. Our leadership has demonstrated focus and intentionality on advancing women in leadership. I feel honored to be newly appointed as the co-president of the Baxter Equality Network business resource group, and to be able to influence questions that are very dear to my heart such as parity of benefits for same-sex spouses and partners. Baxter's clear efforts to create an inclusive culture that values diversity are unparalleled by any of the other companies I’ve worked for previously.
Q: What excites you most about your role as vice president of EHS&S?
Kris: When I first heard about this role, I was — and continue to be — thrilled about the opportunity. I am truly privileged to be leading the function and to have the ability to work with such outstanding professionals across Baxter. It's such an amazing time to lead the EHS&S function. In 2021, we will embark on a transformational journey, which will take us to the next level of performance by embracing digital tools and approaches.
Q: What part does EHS&S play in keeping Baxter employees safe, under regular circumstances and specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Kris: Our team, along with other functions across Baxter, has been working tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees while promoting efforts to help prevent community spread of the virus. We've implemented a comprehensive pandemic response plan which includes safeguards to curtail COVID-19 in our facilities. We've also encouraged employees to work remotely when possible and urged them to do their part to protect themselves, their families, friends, and colleagues.
Q: If you could travel back in time to the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?
Kris: Keep pursuing your dreams, no matter what obstacles appear to be in your way. Life is full of twists and turns, but if you work hard, stay positive and resilient, you will persevere!
Learn more about Baxter's commitment to Corporate Responsibility.