Global Inclusion & Diversity stories
Finding community and inclusion through allyship with men

Read Michela Ferri’s story, a BMS employee

August 20, 2022     

Ever since I joined the Italian our BMS Network of Women (B-NOW) People and Business Resource Group chapter in 2018, I’ve been proud of the fact that our group isn’t just for women. Almost one-third of our members are men. The idea of including men was to welcome different views as we worked toward our goal of promoting and implementing projects that foster a diverse and inclusive work environment based on equal opportunities.

Michela Ferri

I’ve been surprised to discover that contrary to popular stereotypes about gender roles, people’s backgrounds and circumstances actually played a bigger role in shaping their views. For example, I’ve heard people say that women are more artistic and social, while men are more analytical and more likely to excel at science. I remember one man challenging that stereotype because he had the opposite experience - his team was made up of female doctors, and his daughter loves math.

Every new perspective was valuable. Meeting together and hearing all sides allowed us to be more sensitive to people’s needs and concerns and reach better solutions. By sharing our experiences and visions in open discussions, we had the opportunity to put forward new ideas, reflect on them and offer each other support. I also appreciated the fact that men joined our discussions because they wanted to support the women in their lives; they are husbands with wives, fathers with daughters and managers of female teams.

Being involved in B-NOW has given me a sense of belonging by allowing me to contribute my views and raise my self-awareness by learning from others. I’ve also received various training and networking opportunities and coaching sessions that have given me more self-confidence and a chance to improve my skills.

Through B-NOW, we find community and a sense of inclusion with others that allow us to work for the greater good and achieve our vision—to transform patients’ lives through science.

For more information on PBRGs, click here.