Get to know Monique Phillips and her vision for BOLD
February 18, 2022     

Monique Phillips, global lead of the Black Organization for Leadership & Development (BOLD), tells us about BOLD’s mission and her goals for the group moving forward.

Tell us about the Black Organization for Leadership and Development People and Business Resource Group and its mission. 

Monique Phillips: At Bristol Myers Squibb, our Employee Resource Groups have evolved into People and Business Resource Groups (PBRGs), which means that in addition to the sense of belonging and professional development that Employee Resource Groups offer, these employee groups are designed to drive innovation and impact business results.

As a result, Bristol Myers Squibb has committed resources to having eight full time PBRG leads for each represented community. I am proud to be the leader of BOLD - the Black Organization for Leadership and Development. BOLD is focused on our work community and the Black community.  For our work community, we strive to create an environment where Black employees feel like they belong and can advance while simultaneously working to increase the population of Black employees.  For the Black community, we focus on exposing students to careers in the pharmaceutical industry and on improving health equity both in regards to access to our medicines and clinical trial participation.  

In your new role as Global PBRG leader for BOLD, what are you looking to achieve? What is your vision for BOLD moving into 2022 and beyond?

Monique Phillips: BOLD does a lot of things well, and it is due to my team giving so much of themselves. Looking towards the future, I would like to continue the great work being done by BOLD while working to improve our efficiency so we can have greater impact with less effort required of our volunteers.  Additionally, Bristol Myers Squibb has outlined five commitments to diversity, inclusion and health equity and I feel BOLD is poised to have the greatest impact in the areas of workforce representation and clinical trial diversity.  I would love to see the programs that we are developing become a larger part of the way BMS does business.  

Over the past few years, you have been an active member in so much of our PBRG work, from BOLD to the PBRG COVID Taskforce, CLIMB (Cultivating Leadership and Innovation for Millennials and Beyond), the Diversity in Clinical Trials team and external groups like Women of Color in Pharma, how will that experience shape your leadership position as Global PBRG leader for BOLD? 

Monique Phillips: I am privileged to have worked in different groups with the shared goal of improving equity.  Each group was unique in their strengths, challenges and approaches and as a result, the lessons I’ve learned from each are unique.  I bring those insights into this role with the understanding that my way of working is informed by those experiences, but must be customized to my current role, my team and our priorities.  

Our scientific pursuits are vital to everything we do here at Bristol Myers Squibb and you have an impressive background, serving in many roles on the R&D team here since 2008. How do you feel that experience can help you succeed at the helm of the BOLD team? How do you envision you will be able to integrate your impressive scientific background with the work you will be doing day-to-day in this new role?

Monique Phillips:  As a scientist I learned how to solve complicated problems and how to build solutions that are repeatable.  More importantly, my scientific background shapes how I problem solve. I often disclaimer my “why” questions with the fact that I am recovering chemist. I believe strongly that understanding the why is important for designing solutions and for determining which good things to do are our things to do.  Simon Sinek discusses the importance of why for business strategy in his book and this Tedtalk: Start with Why  

Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of work, what are you passionate about? What are you looking to achieve, personally, in 2022?

Monique Phillips: Being the BOLD lead is a unique opportunity in that it embodies several of my passions outside of work in a job that I get paid to do and equips me with a team. Outside of work, I am forming a scholarship fund. My goal is for the scholarship fund to become 501c3 and to donate scholarships for students entering college in 2023.  Beyond this, this year I would like to cycle more and spend more time with friends and family.  During the pandemic, I did less of both and as a result my overall joy declined.  This year, I plan on being intentional with doing things that matter to me.

Rupert Vessey,, MD, PhD

Monique Phillips

Global Lead of the Black Organization for Leadership & Development (BOLD)

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