Pursuing big dreams in STEM

May 11, 2023     

For Claudia Generaux, working as an associate director of Strategy and Business Development for Cardiovascular and Neuroscience at Bristol Myers Squibb allows her to continue her family’s legacy of giving back. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia, Claudia grew up watching her father — a physician — dedicate himself to helping people in the community, particularly those in rural areas. Those memories instilled a lifelong passion for science that she lives out at Bristol Myers Squibb, while helping to set the standard for providing life-changing and life-saving medicines.

From her first role as a drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK) scientist in the discovery organization back in 2015, to her current role on the Business Development Search & Evaluation team, Claudia has embraced the company’s commitment to improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies, and opening diverse young minds to the possibilities of STEM careers for themselves and their peers.

Claudia came to the U.S. from Bolivia to earn her undergraduate degree in biology with plans to continue to medical school. Following graduation, she worked for a contract research organization, where she learned the role that DMPK plays in evaluating new medicines.

“I thought working in a pharmacy was the only choice if you went to pharmacy school, but I did not know that pharmaceutical scientists were the ones behind the scenes discovering how to make medicine.”
Claudia Generaux, Associate Director, Search & Evaluation, Cardiovascular, Fibrosis, Immunology, Neuroscience Search & Evaluation, CFIN

Knowing the importance of role models for young adults, Claudia wanted to enable Latinx students to see their cultures represented in STEM professionals and see the success that someone like them from a similar background can achieve.

From 2018 to 2021, Claudia was the Lawrenceville, New Jersey, site co-lead of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), a people and business resource group (PBRG) at Bristol Myers Squibb that has several chapters across the U.S. The mission of OLA is to serve as an inclusive community driving value and business performance through initiatives focused on Hispanic talent development.

With her colleagues in OLA, Claudia created the Just Like You!™ campaign to inspire middle school and high school students to pursue STEM careers. Through the development of 31 posters highlighting Latinx employees and what they have accomplished in their career, the campaign aimed to expose Latinx students to these careers and give them the confidence to pursue big dreams. These posters ultimately reached schools, community centers and scientific youth conferences across the U.S. Just Like You!™ campaign continues to be a core component of OLA's work, with multiple additional layers of diversity being added.

“As a member of the Latinx community, I can appreciate that seeing yourself represented in a poster campaign or in the workplace matters because that's a way to envision yourself on a similar career path. Without that inspiration, you may not think that that's a path that's worthwhile or possible for yourself.”
Sharon Tisdale-Reis, Senior Manager, Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing

Bristol Myers Squibb brings together industry-leading researchers and drug developers from different backgrounds and cultures who share an innovative mindset and a desire to embark on a relentless pursuit to provide the best outcomes possible for patients. Guided by the vision of bold leaders like Claudia, we are working to ensure that our R&D community is representative of the communities we serve with a focus on supplier diversity and workforce representation.

To learn more about the Just Like You!™ campaign and how Claudia and others are working to empower Latinx scientists, watch the video above. 

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Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.