Davide Piras and Giovanni Caforio onstage at the B-NOW-sponsored event.

Davide Piras receives BMS Gender Partnership Award

March 28, 2019     

Davide Piras, head of Intercon/ European Markets, Australia and Canada, received Bristol Myers Squibb's inaugural Gender Partnership Award for his work in supporting the development of female leadership and talent across the company.

The new award recognizes the behaviors of developing women and developing talent overall at BMS, and was presented by CEO Giovanni Caforio to Davide late last year.

He was honored at an event sponsored by the Bristol Myers Squibb Network of Women (B-NOW), one of the BMS People and Business Resource Groups (PRBGs). Davide has been with BMS for 20 years and says he has supported women globally throughout his entire career because, "It's the right thing to do for people and for the business."

B-NOW ensures that women at BMS have equal opportunities to be recruited, developed, advanced and retained globally within a culture that prioritizes this mission.

We recently caught up with Davide for his reflections on the importance of developing women.

Q: Why is the development of female talent important for BMS in particular?
The customers we serve are men and women, so it seems a must to me to mirror the gender diversity of our customer base in order to make the best decisions. Women tend to have a very important role in healthcare decisions in their family context; our ability to bring that perspective in our business decision making represents a possible competitive advantage. Finally, a work environment characterized by strong diversity, including gender, of course, is much more exciting. This plays a key role in attracting and engaging a talented workforce.

Q: What role do men play in the development of women at BMS?
First of all, I think women play a huge role in the development of men. Because of often prominent societal norms, women tend to carry a significant role in managing their families, on top of their jobs. For this reason their time management and ability to prioritize is often sharper compared to men.

I observed that women may have lower self-confidence because they tend to be overly critical of themselves and feel a need to penetrate more organizational barriers to have success. Men can pay more attention to this aspect and proactively help women to build stronger self-confidence in the work environment.

Q: What have you done/are you doing to promote female talent at BMS?
I have tried to always create a diverse slate of candidates when hiring, to create strong awareness of their value when managing female direct reports, and to provide female talent with developmental opportunities to accelerate their growth.

Q. Why is diversity so important?
A work force that mirrors the diversity of our customer base – in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, diversified backgrounds, etc. – helps us better understand our customers, faster than our competitors do.

Q:  How do you feel about receiving the first BMS Gender Partnership Award?
This is the formal recognition that I am most proud of in my entire career.

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