Standing together for STEM

Bristol Myers Squibb rolls out new approach to unify STEM initiatives

December 07, 2018     

How do you ensure tomorrow’s generation of STEM talent (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is inspired and prepared to lead? One way is to share the knowledge and experience of sending today’s STEM leaders into the classroom to inspire and prepare them.

Bristol Myers Squibb recently hosted a STEM Celebration event at the Princeton Pike, N.J. campus.

Bristol Myers Squibb recently hosted a STEM Celebration event at the Princeton Pike, N.J. campus.

“We have a broad approach to supporting STEM education,” Bristol Myers Squibb Chairman and CEO Giovanni Caforio said at a recent STEM event at the company’s Princeton Pike, N.J. campus. “I’m really pleased that the support we give to students comes from our Community Giving Program as well as hundreds of employee volunteer hours throughout the year.”

Through the Community Giving Program, the company provides financial support to improving STEM education in schools and community organizations where our sites are located. Coupled with the financial support are employees volunteer efforts with initiatives they are passionate about, both personally and professionally.  To help guarantee all of this work is supported and coordinated, members of the company’s eight People and Business Resource Groups (PBRGs) and Community Affairs created a new STEM council to strengthen the way the company approaches such initiatives.

During the STEM event, Caforio acknowledged the breadth of STEM programs that the entire company supports and helped to introduce the new STEM Council. Students from local schools, including grade school through college, were invited to the event to participate in panels and show their work. 

 “It’s incredible to see not only our PBRGs involved, but employees throughout our entire company committed to this,” Caforio said. 

A Common Goal

While Bristol Myers Squibb employees have been all in when it comes to volunteering their time to mentor students, until now many of the events were done through grass-roots initiatives and not centralized. 

The STEM Council aims to change that. 

Through the Bristol Myers Squibb Network of Women (B-NOW) PBRG, Vani Kodandaram and Patty McDonnell, started their work together six years ago and most recently expanded their vision to collaborate to colleagues from various functions across the entire company to form the first global STEM Council. 

STEM Council Co-leads, Patty McDonnell and Vani Kodandaram.

STEM Council Co-leads, Patty McDonnell and Vani Kodandaram.

“The STEM Council brings people together from across the organization and gives an enterprise view of how Bristol Myers Squibb wants to enhance STEM education, energize students and engage in our communities,” says Kodandaram, Bristol Myers Squibb  Head IT Business Partner, Business Development & Enterprise IT. 

The goal is to coordinate all STEM activities and align efforts, share experiences, enhance the volunteer pool and maximize resources. The STEM Council is also branding all of the programs and initiatives as Tomorrow’s Innovators, to unify the look and feel of all the different efforts. 

“The STEM council wants to make sure everyone knows and recognizes that we are Bristol Myers Squibb, so we are launching Tomorrow’s Innovators to brand all of our STEM initiatives,” McDonnell says. “This means that every time we show up, be it at a mentoring program, summer camp, science fair judging, or speaking on a panel at a local college, people will know we are from Bristol Myers Squibb.” 

The Power and Passion of our People 

Investing time and resources in creating this infrastructure for the company’s STEM programs is also a way to develop a diverse talent pipeline for the company.  

“This helps ensure our commitment to STEM talent is inclusive of all bright, talented minds – no matter their background - while also developing future talent for the company,” says CeLois Steel, Bristol Myers Squibb lead for Global Diversity & Inclusion and Partnership Engagement. 

All eight of the company’s PBRGs, including B-NOW; LGBTA; Organization for Latino Achievement; Black Organization of Leadership & Development; Veterans Community Network;  PAN Asian Network; Cultivating Leadership in Millennials and Beyond; and Differently-Abled Workplace Network are currently sponsoring STEM events.  

Here are a few current Bristol Myers Squibb STEM Initiatives  

The Bristol Myers Squibb Network of Women partners with the 4H to teach science lessons on Saturdays in local communities. They support the #LeadLikeAGirl conference in Princeton, N.J. with panel members and seminars.  

The Black Organization of Leadership & Development engages middle school, high school and university students in STEM career mentoring and sponsors the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) fellowship for graduate students of color. 

The Cultivating Leadership in Millennials and Beyond PBRG hosts STEM focused initiatives including innovation tournaments, STEM speed networking, and shadowing programs. 

The Organization for Latino Achievement inspires students’ pursuit of STEM and life science careers by hosting the N.J. Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program, participating in Hispanic Inspiring Students Performance and Achievement (HISPA) Role Model Program and by collaborating with BNOW on Tomorrow’s Innovators. 

The PAN Asian Network has set up student outreach programs in New York-area high schools and universities to build awareness of career potential in the pharmaceutical industry. 

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