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Global Inclusion & Diversity

A Welcoming Culture: BMS’ PRIDE Alliance Impacts Colleagues and Patients

April 15, 2022
CultureInclusion & Diversity
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  A Welcoming Culture: BMS’ PRIDE Alliance Impacts Colleagues and Patients
Paul Shay, Lead of PRIDE Alliance PBRG (People and Business Resource Group) at BMS
Paul Shay, Lead of PRIDE Alliance PBRG (People and Business Resource Group) at BMS

There are certain places where the LGBTQ+ community feels welcome, supported and understood. For far too long, the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields were not one of those places, according to a recent study. At BMS, we are intentional about fostering LGBTQ+ inclusion, awareness and engagement—and we have a PRIDE Alliance People and Business Resource Group (PBRG) dedicated to making sure that shines through in our culture as we transform patients’ lives through science.

One of eight PBRGs at BMS empowering people to bring their authentic selves to work, PRIDE Alliance has over 1800 LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies at BMS with 29 chapters in 14 countries. And this inclusive culture has only gotten stronger since PRIDE Alliance’s Global Lead Paul Shay joined BMS in 2017. PRIDE Alliance enhances BMS’ performance and reputation through a culture that empowers LGBTQ+ inclusion, awareness and engagement to grow our business, recruit top talent, and nurture excellence while our employees do some of the most meaningful and interesting work of their careers.

An Open and Inviting Culture

“The first question LGBTQ+ job seekers ask about is the culture and what it’s like to work here,” Paul said. “Our industry is known to be more traditional, and yet BMS' culture is much more progressive than one would expect—especially when it comes to letting people be their authentic selves.”

So, what does it look like to be your authentic self in the workplace? To Paul, it’s reflected in everything from the way people dress and communicate to the flexible working styles and less hierarchical structure.

“Our leaders genuinely get it,” Paul said. “They get the value of diversity and inclusion intrinsically and can speak to it with a depth and fluency that has been pleasantly surprising.”

Working in a Safe Zone

Paul mentioned how lucky and fortunate he is to lead PRIDE Alliance full-time because of the tangible daily impact on colleagues and patients. One of the recent successes was launching our Safe Zone trainings, which gave BMS colleagues access to powerful, effective LGBTQ+ awareness and ally training workshops. Walk around any of our global offices, and you’ll see plenty of Safe Zone Trained stickers proudly posted.

In addition to ongoing industry awareness, the powerful key priorities listed here guide PRIDE Alliance at every level.

Covering and Inclusion

LGBTQ+ workers in STEM fields experience significant devaluation, higher stress, less social connections with their peers, and even physical health consequences. A lot of this comes from "covering" or hiding their true selves. At BMS, we’re focused on enabling all colleagues, not just LGBTQ+, to bring their authentic selves to the workplace and fully engage.

“This is not just for LGBTQ+ colleagues, but for anyone who feels the need to cover anything,” Paul said. “Maybe a father or a mother has parental obligations they don't talk about because they don't want to be perceived as less committed. There are so many things that people cover up.”

Diversity and Inclusion in Recruiting

Angeleta Washington, Manager, Digital Capability Management
Angeleta Washington, Manager, Digital Capability Management

BMS and PRIDE Alliance work hard to ensure the LGBTQ+ community is represented in our recruiting efforts, and it’s helped many people find careers they love. Angeleta Washington, from the BMS IT User Experience team in Tampa shared, “In a previous job, I felt like I couldn’t be a Black African American LGBTQ woman in technology, not at all. BMS was a game changer for me in many ways. Now, I work in an environment that embraces the importance of its culture of inclusion. That makes me comfortable in feeling proud to be me and appreciate the fact that I can bring every element about me to work.”

The PRIDE Alliance is open to the entire global workforce, with strong employee engagement, at every level, so you can always find support. You can also find LGBTQ+ colleagues and partners represented in workplace policies, infrastructure and work/life issues. From gender-equalization in benefits to gender-neutral restroom options to educating and encouraging pronoun usage, we’re all allies.

Healthcare Disparities

We leverage our research expertise and deep scientific and commercial relationships to positively impact LGBTQ+ health outcomes in our therapeutic areas. “When you mention LGBTQ+ health, people often gravitate towards HIV and AIDS, which BMS also has a proud history of combatting, but LGBTQ+ health is about so much more than that,” Paul said. “I'm challenging the group to think about what we can do to make a positive impact for LGBTQ+ patients getting to better outcomes, especially in BMS' therapeutic areas where we have great expertise. And that includes investing in understanding how to better educate healthcare professionals about the specific needs of this community.”

In or Out, You’re Welcome at BMS

“In the LGBTQ+ space, everyone has a different choice to make in terms of being out or not in the office,” Paul said. “There are many people out there who are being impacted by PRIDE issues at work, but I won't always see it or know it for sure. Then I’ll get an email out of the blue from an employee here saying, ‘I finally felt comfortable coming out to my team. Thank you!'"

Stories like these are common throughout the 14 countries our PRIDE Alliance thrives in and beyond. If you want to work for a company where you can do some of the most interesting work of your career while always being the unique person you are, browse our open roles. No matter your role, the work you’ll do at BMS will transform patients’ lives, and your career as well.