Our commitments
Our commitment to addressing health disparities and diversity

A message to employees from CEO, Chris Boerner, PhD

August 10, 2020     

We are in a unique time. As a company, we have had many conversations about the serious challenges facing the Black/African American community and have learned a great deal since the death of George Floyd. The global COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed persistent health disparities that leave under-resourced and minority communities at greater risk of poor health outcomes. Now more than ever, we recognize our role in creating the change needed to address the health disparities and racial inequality present in our rapidly changing communities.

Over the past months, we have gotten a lot of ideas and input from you. We have spent time listening, learning and debating, and have developed an approach that reflects broad input, represents our key priorities and is consistent with our values.

I am pleased to share that Bristol Myers Squibb and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation will announce a combined investment of $300 million over the next five years to accelerate health equity and diversity and inclusion efforts. We expect this investment will help diverse populations and, as an extension, improve outcomes across all populations impacted by the diseases on which we focus.

We will focus on 1) addressing health disparities, 2) increasing clinical trial diversity, 3) expanding our supplier diversity program, 4) expanding our U.S. Employee Giving Program and 5) increasing our workforce diversity.

Health disparities

Health disparities

We will accelerate our work with key advocates to reach at-risk patients with disease awareness and education. We will also increase awareness of our patient support programs to ensure at-risk communities can access them, including the BMS Patient Assistance Foundation. We will continue to advocate for policies that promote health equity and address racial disparities.

Clinical trial diversity

Clinical trial diversity

While most efforts to increase diversity in clinical trials focus on community outreach and engagement, we will increase diversity by addressing who the investigators are and where clinical trials are run. We will work to extend the reach of clinical trials into underserved patient communities in urban and rural U.S. geographies by building infrastructure and training and mentoring 250 racially and ethnically diverse clinical investigators. 

Supplier diversity

Supplier diversity

We will spend $1 billion globally by 2025 with Black/African American and other diverse-owned businesses to help create jobs and generate positive economic impact in diverse communities often hard hit financially by systemic injustices.

Employee giving

Employee giving

Starting September 1, we will provide a 2-to-1 match for U.S. and Puerto Rico employee donations to organizations that fight disparities and discrimination. We will work with our People & Business Resource Groups (PBRGs) and the BMS Foundation to identify those organizations. 

Workforce representation

Workforce representation

We have taken significant steps inside our organization toward transforming our culture — efforts that have already made measurable change across our workforce, including reaching gender parity in 2015. Building on our existing focus, by 2022 we aim to: achieve gender parity at the executive level globally; double executive representation of Black/African American employees in the U.S.; and, double executive representation of Hispanic/Latino employees in the U.S. 

I want to reinforce that our focus on Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino executive representation builds on the ongoing and important work to create a powerfully diverse and broadly inclusive organization. Our passion and commitment to Asian talent in leadership roles remains steadfast, as does our work in all aspects of diversity. We look forward to advancing our efforts and sharing more on our progress.

I will share additional details about these commitments during our Global Quarterly Update meeting.

Thanks to our colleagues across the company who contributed to developing these commitments. It will require all of us working together to advance health equity and build a diverse and inclusive organization. I am relying on all of you to join in these efforts and to demonstrate the values that make our company unique. I am excited about these bold steps and the impact they will have for our patients and communities.

Best regards,

Click here  to read our media release and here to download our commitments overview.

Related content

Tomorrow's Innovators >

Tomorrow's Innovators is an initiative that builds a sustainable bridge for diverse talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the biopharma industry. 

Global Inclusion and Diversity report >

Learn more about our continued commitment in our Global Inclusion and Diversity with latest report.

Health equity >

BMS donates to 56 U.S. nonprofits focused on health equity in step toward fulfilling D&I Commitments.