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Sanofi launches first global scholarship programme for students from underrepresented communities pursuing careers in healthcare

Reading, January 18, 2023. Sanofi announces at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos the launch of the Sanofi NextGen Scholarship, its first global higher education scholarship programme for people from numerous communities underrepresented in healthcare professions.

The programme will help pay tuition and other expenses at institutions of higher education for students who are part of their nation’s ethnic minority groups, women, disabled people and members of the LGBTQ+ community who wish to pursue careers as doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers and other healthcare-related professions. 

Launching this year in the UK and 4 other countries (Brazil, France, Japan and the U.S.), the Sanofi NextGen Scholarship programme will work hand-in-hand with leading higher education institutions across the world to annually identify up to 100 new talented students from underrepresented populations to become Scholars. Students will be able to apply for the scholarship programme via university portals. Once selected, Scholars will be awarded funding covering partial university and living costs. In addition to financial aid, Sanofi will offer Scholars development support, mentorship and internship opportunities, and potential employment opportunities once they graduate. The programme will expand to other countries in coming years.

The launch of the Sanofi NextGen Scholarship programme follows the results of a global survey of underrepresented groups' trust in healthcare, the first of its kind. Sponsored by Sanofi, the survey showed diminished trust in healthcare systems among underrepresented communities. In the global survey results, 75% of respondents from underrepresented populations said they have suffered trust-damaging healthcare experiences. The survey underscored that, when it comes to trust in healthcare, 59% of global respondents from underrepresented communities would like access to providers from diverse backgrounds.

Paul Hudson

Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi

“As an innovative global healthcare company, we have a role to play in responding to the destabilizing situation underrepresented populations are in when they need care. We aim to help build the next generation of diverse healthcare leaders. By also working to build trust through conversation and dialogue between underrepresented communities and healthcare stakeholders, we can help improve engagement and health outcomes for all.”

Jessamy Baird
Country Lead and Head of General Medicines UK & Ireland, Sanofi
"These survey findings show the scale of the challenges facing underrepresented and marginalised groups in accessing healthcare. At Sanofi, we're committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we believe we have an important role to play in tackling health inequalities across the healthcare system. Through a comprehensive programme of scholarships and dialogue, we hope to support underrepresented communities to have important conversations around equal access to healthcare, amplifying the voices of patients to bring about lasting change."   

The Sanofi NextGen Scholarship programme is part of ‘A Million Conversations’, Sanofi's broader €50 million initiative that aims to create greater trust between underrepresented communities and healthcare stakeholders by 2030. ‘A Million Conversations’ will run hundreds of dialogue events in communities in the first five countries of the initiative - Brazil, France, Japan, the UK and the U.S. These events will convene three groups: people who have experienced discrimination in healthcare, representatives from local health organizations (including governments and nonprofits) and Sanofi employees, with the aim of changing policy and attitudes within the broader healthcare industry. Participants will also carry out further research into the causes of the ‘trust gap’ in the hope they can prevent it from widening. Sanofi will capture stories and feasible solutions in an annual Trust and Inclusion Report that will measure the progress of the project toward its 2030 goal.

The survey

The survey was sponsored by Sanofi and conducted by Purpose Union and The BRC. More than 11,500 people across the UK and four other countries (Brazil, France, Japan and the U.S.) responded about their experiences accessing medical treatment, with large sample sizes coming from minority and underrepresented groups. 2,406 respondents were from the UK, 518 of whom were from a Black or minority ethnic background, 357 identified as LGBTQ+ and 635 were disabled.

According to the survey, in the UK  69% of respondents from ethnic minorities said they have had experiences that damaged their trust in healthcare, compared to 55% of non-minorities. Members of the LGBTQ+ community reported a similar experience (63% vs 57% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents) - and perhaps most worryingly due to the overlap of disability and health needs, 76% of disabled respondents had experiences that damaged their trust in healthcare, compared to 51% of non-disabled respondents.

The study also showed that this trust gap actually widens for people who belong to more than one of these communities. For example, 83% of people who are both disabled from ethnic minorities state that they have experienced a trust damaging encounter with healthcare vs 44% of people without those backgrounds.

The survey also asked participants how the healthcare system could regain that trust. In the UK the most commonly given answers were that their healthcare providers should be ‘more dependable’ (78% of responses), 'offered the best quality care' (78%), ‘more accessible’ (76%), and ‘treated them fairly’ (76%).

About Sanofi

We are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: we chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and potentially life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the center of our ambitions.

Sanofi is listed on EURONEXT: SAN and NASDAQ: SNY