Bristol Myers Squibb prides itself on fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce, while at the same time, taking meaningful, deliberate steps to drive equitable advancement and growth opportunities for all. This is especially true at BMS Brazil, where director of human resources, Jennifer Wendling dedicates herself to the strategy behind fostering that diverse recruiting culture, and fleet manager, Ewerton Melchiori has directly experienced some of those growth opportunities in his notable 8+ years at BMS.
Nearing a 20-Year Journey, but Still Room to Grow
Having spent almost her entire career at BMS, Jennifer reflected on some of those growth opportunities in her own career as well. “People often say, ‘You’ve been at the same company for a lifetime,’” she said. “And I reply, well, it’s not the same company as when I began. We as a company have evolved, and so have I as a member of the team. I began in an entry-level role, and I’ve been able to help shape the culture to make us more inclusive. BMS is aligned with these values that are very personal to me.”
Promotions, Responsibilities, Opportunities
Like Jennifer, Ewerton works at BMS’ only Brazil location in São Paulo, although field-based employees are located throughout the country to interact with customers. After dedicating eight years at another company where no real growth opportunity presented itself, Ewerton began at BMS as a fleet analyst and was recently promoted to fleet manager, with extensive responsibilities.
“I’m responsible for managing the entire Brazil fleet process including contract strategies, maintenance and fuel card management,” Ewerton said. “In addition, I’m also working with our global carbon offset initiative called Move for Good, and our Virtual Risk Manager and defensive driving programs.”
Ewerton insisted on mentioning those who really helped him learn and grow once inside the company. “I originally joined BMS as a contingent worker,” he shared. “But I’ve evolved as an employee thanks to getting closer to my co-workers, who helped me a lot. That also included mentoring from great leadership, which helped me get to where I am now. Other growth opportunities included BMS’ internal programs, such as mentoring. It really helped expand my career as it enabled me to move into expanded global reporting responsibilities.”
Leadership Who Is Invested in Employee Growth
Effective and dedicated leadership also played a big role in Jennifer’s growth, both professionally and personally. “At BMS, I’ve always had leaders who were invested in me,” she said. “They believed in me, sensed my potential, but always reaffirmed to me that I was responsible for my growth. In recruiting and mentoring, I always emphasize that we have to be the ‘CEOs of our own careers.’"
With Growth Comes Support
According to Jennifer, those opportunities to take control of one’s career can be plentiful at BMS. “Whenever I raised my hand to ask for an opportunity, or to volunteer, there was always space for me to join,” Jennifer said. “We can all have moments in our careers when we doubt ourselves. Being surrounded by people that believe in you, that say, ‘Go ahead, you’ve got this, and I’ve got your back,’ those were key moments at BMS that helped me grow.”
Ewerton includes the BMS People and Business Resource Groups – specifically BOLD, the Black Organization for Leadership and Development – as support for himself and his own career, and an opportunity to support others.
“I’ve been a part of BOLD since 2017, when we started the Brazilian chapter,” he said. “And our main goal is to make everyone feel included and help others achieve the same opportunities I’ve benefitted from – both career opportunities and good balance between personal and professional life.”
Positive Culture Is Lived and Acted Upon
As a BMS HR professional, Jennifer sells the positive BMS culture and work environment as a huge benefit to coming on board, so she’s quite invested in making sure BMS and all the staff deliver on her promises. “It’s great when newly hired candidates stop by days or weeks later and say, ‘Everything you mentioned in the interview actually happens here.’ I had a recent candidate tell me that he’d heard all these things before at other companies, but never experienced the culture, the support, the work environment. But at BMS, he said, it’s more than just words. It’s happening every day.”
Jennifer listed some other more tangible benefits and was quick to add that everything associated with the company adds up to a welcoming and desired workplace.
“BMS looks at supporting us holistically,” she said. “That means a competitive financial package including a great pension plan. But there is also support for our different phases of life – the emotional and the physical. We offer GymPass, for instance, and wellness and mindfulness apps, even a 15-minute quick massage if you need a break.”