STAT+: Pfizer accused of running a fellowship program that discriminates on racial grounds

In a move reflecting simmering controversy over diversity and equity, Pfizer has been accused of running a racially discriminatory fellowship program because it “categorically excludes” white and Asian-American applicants, according to a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group that includes doctors, patients, and policymakers. But some legal experts question whether the argument can succeed.

With its Breakthrough Fellowship Program, Pfizer aims to diversity its workforce and offer opportunities for college students who are of Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American descent. The effort includes summer internships, two years of full-time employment after college, a scholarship for a master’s program, and a guaranteed job after-graduation. Pfizer seeks 100 fellows by 2025.

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