Update on BMS Commitments and workforce representation goals

Michelle Weese, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Pamela Fisher, Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, discuss our progress.

March 15, 2023
Pam Fisher, Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

Pam Fisher, Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

Pam: Hi Michelle! I’m thrilled to connect with you to discuss how our teams are partnering to advance our inclusion, diversity and health equity goals across the company. Our commitments are what drew me to join Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) in 2021. I knew early in my career that I wanted to be an advocate for underrepresented communities and provide a platform to help elevate the voices and perspectives of others. Our BMS & BMS Foundation (BMSF) GI&D goals were bold and ambitious and aligned with my purpose of driving a more just and equitable world through health and wealth. I was humbled to have the opportunity to lead this work at a company where patients are at the center of everything we do, and to work with a Leadership team that prioritizes GI&D as a business imperative.

What’s even more exciting is knowing that our GI&D goals and Health Equity commitments are accelerating our progress toward integrating inclusive practices into our processes, policies and systems to ensure GI&D becomes an organic part of how we work every day and drives sustainable and equitable outcomes and impact for all.

Michelle: I feel the same. Inclusion and equity have always been passion points for me – my parents moved from the Philippines to Georgia in my early childhood, so I know what it’s like to feel different. Ultimately, it’s made me resilient and committed to ensuring that everyone’s perspectives are valued and heard.

In my role leading Corporate Affairs, I help shape and tell the company’s story and much of it is driven by our diverse and inclusive culture. Pam, you often talk about intentionally “leading with the I – inclusion” – what does that mean for our colleagues, and what is the impact?

Michelle Weese, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Michelle Weese, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Pam: It’s critically important that each of us live into our Values at BMS. We are leading with our Value of Inclusion, because we know that diversity around the world is very different. Diversity includes the broad ranges of personal, physical and social characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation and ability. Inclusion and belonging ensure that our colleagues, patients, and communities’ unique perspectives are heard, valued, and rewarded and that everyone has an opportunity to contribute to transforming patients’ lives through science. Also, research shows that there’s a direct correlation between diverse leadership teams, innovation and profitability.

In 2020, we set bold goals to reach gender parity and increase the diversity of our executive teams at the Vice President Level and above by 2022. We more than doubled our Black/African American executive representation in the U.S. We increased the representation of global female executives to nearly 49%, a 10 percent increase in just two years, but slightly below our goal of 50% by 2022. We also increased the representation of our Hispanic/Latino executives to 6.1% but slightly below our goal of 7.4%.

Our advancement of these goals has been impressive, and we know there’s more to do to sustain our progress. This year we are extending our workforce representation goals to 2025 and expanding its scope to include Executive Directors and above (ED+). Expanding the goal to Executive Director will impact a larger number of leaders in the organization and will strengthen our internal pipeline for the next generation of leaders. Our expanded goals are to increase the representation of Black/African American executives (ED+) in the U.S. to 10% by 2025 and increase the representation of Hispanic/Latino executives (ED+) in the U.S. to 11% by 2025.

We are proud of the meaningful progress we’ve made on achieving gender parity in our overall workforce population since 2015 and that we are close to achieving parity at the executive levels. Although we are not establishing forward-looking representation goals for female, Asian American Pacific Islander, or employees representing additional dimensions of diversity at this time, we remain fully committed to the development, advancement and engagement of all colleagues at BMS. We believe our approach will enable us to engage a broader set of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to drive equitable outcomes for all.

Michelle: Inclusion and intention go hand in hand. I support leaders to intentionally break down silos and encourage new ways of working across teams, partners and the industry. Purposeful inclusion will drive equal opportunity and sustainable change and collaboration is key across business and industry.

I am proud to share that we have achieved our goal of spending $1 billion with diverse-owned businesses three years early. This was achieved by ensuring that diverse-owned suppliers had a full opportunity to compete for contracts with BMS. Investing in diverse suppliers drives economic empowerment for communities where our patients live.

In less than two years, we’ve located 58% of clinical trial sites in highly diverse regions of the U.S., to make it easier for everyone to participate in the development of critical, often lifesaving, therapies. This goal was achieved three years earlier than expected.

Pam: I’d also add “engagement” as a key word when we’re talking about our strategy. Inclusion, intention, engagement. To address health disparities and conditions that disproportionately impact diverse communities, we must authentically and intentionally engage these communities in the solution. Michelle, I know your team is driving a lot of that work via health equity grants. How is some of that taking shape?

BMS Health Equity Grants Target Social Determinants of Health

Michelle: To care holistically and comprehensively for our patients social determinants of health must be addressed – things like food security, health education, transportation, access to care because patients need those essential and immediate needs met. And we must authentically engage people at a grassroots level to really drive solutions.

Between 2020 and 2022, we’ve provided $100 million in grants from BMS Corporate Giving to increase education and awareness and eliminate access barriers for patients. We are well on our way to meeting our goal of $150 million in grants by 2025.

We intentionally partner with organizations with deep community ties and networks.

Similarly, the BMS Foundation, an independent charitable organization, has created The Winn Award Program, which is currently training 114 early-stage investigator physicians, and provided an immersive experience for 44 medical students in community-based clinical research.

Pam: I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. It’s the result of shared, purposeful action from our teams around the world to drive authentic cultural and societal impact.

Michelle: I can’t wait to see where we go next. 

Click here to read our CEO's message, the media release and to download our commitments overview.

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