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Working for a top pharmaceutical company is a dream for many graduates from scientific or medical degrees. These pharma giants enjoy the very best resources for research and development, and they are at the cutting edge of the industry, incorporating disciplines such as design and testing on the way to crafting products that could save the lives of millions. For talented graduates in related fields, or for those looking for a new challenge in a new firm, these big companies represent a major draw.

But which of these are the best pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to work for in 2020? Here, we’re not necessarily talking about the biggest or the most famous (although many of these candidates do meet that criteria) but the companies that provide the best experience to their employees.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson achieved a 3.9 rating from Glassdoor in 2019, pushing them to the very forefront of the industry in terms of employee experience. The firm also featured on the list of Best Places to Work for People with Disabilities, and has won awards for its diversity. However, Johnson & Johnson does not appear on InHerSight’s list of best pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for women to work for.


Pfizer is another one of America’s chemtech giants and also scored 3.9 with Glassdoor’s users, largely thanks to the work/life balance it provides to its employees, as well as high levels of approval for the CEO of Pfizer, Ian Read. Pfizer does appear on the InHerSight list at number 10, and has actually achieved the best results on that list for paid leave and employee well-being.


Another giant with a 3.9 rating, Roche also enjoys high levels of approval for its CEO, Severin Schwan. Employees also cited a good work/life balance at Roche and attractive opportunities for development and advancement as reasons why the Swiss firm was such a good employer. Roche did not feature on the InHerSight list.

Eli Lilly and Company

Employees have scored Eli Lilly and Company very highly indeed, thanks to the wealth of talent within their ranks, and their employee focus. Career consultants Zippia reported that employees are treated very well indeed at the company. InHerSight also described how the company provides good levels of paid leave, including maternity and adoptive leave.


AbbVie, founded back in 2013 as a spin-off of Abbott Laboratories, scored very highly for the benefits it provides to its staff, as well as for its high levels of workplace safety and the solutions in place to protect employees during manufacture and storage of chemicals. InHerSight’s survey respondents also cited paid leave and maternity and adoptive leave as major plus points for the firm.


Originally from the United Kingdom, GSK is now a global pharma firm, with its company headquarters in Abilene, Texas. The Glassdoor survey gave the firm a score of 3.9, putting it among the leaders in terms of employee satisfaction. InHerSight found that paid leave was, yet again, a major perk for employees of GSK. Survey respondents also discussed how employee morale and co-worker connection were very high within the company.

Astellas Pharma US

The Illinois-based Astellas Pharma US is not the biggest employer on this list, but this does not mean it does not treat its employees well and offer attractive benefits to bring them into the fold. Respondents to the InHerSight research described maternity and adoptive leave, as well as other paid time off, as two of the biggest advantages to working at the company.

The indicators all point to a range of options for candidates interested in working for a pharmaceutical firm, with high levels of competition forcing companies to offer a raft of benefits to attract the top talent. With major firms competing fiercely for candidates, the advantage lies very much with the jobseeker, as they search out the best pharmaceutical manufacturing company to work for.