To celebrate HBA Suisse Romande as Chapter Spotlight of January, we asked Becton Dickinson (BD) to share how being an HBA Corporate Sponsor has helped the company achieve its goals.
BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. Over 10,000 European employees are working together to address some of the most challenging global health issues, managed by its European business headquarters in Eysins.
vice president of HR for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
vice president of global customer services
Both shared their vision of diversity and inclusion and the impact the partnership with the HBA has on the company.
Why is it important for BD to be an HBA Corporate Partner?
Céline Broutin: When BD decided several years ago to invest in diversity and inclusion and fight bias within the organization, the path wasn’t so clear. Everyone had an opinion and definition of what it means, but gender equality was a good entry point. We looked at who had expertise in this domain and who could help us drive initiatives within our organization. Partnering with the HBA gave us the structure and tools to acquire best practices towards equality. The first step was to raise awareness of the issues and having conversations with experts from the HBA really went a long way to furthering BD’s goals in diversity and inclusion.
Andréa Girardot: Being a Corporate Partner of the HBA provided us with the structures to increase recognition and celebrate the accomplishments of our female talent both internally and externally. It enabled BD to strengthen our relationships with other Swiss organizations across the healthcare industry.
What were the tangible benefits so far?
Andréa Girardot: The HBA Ambassador program was a structured way to launch the internal women’s network. This is a democratic space, open to everyone and designed by the ambassadors themselves to help them reach their personal objectives.
We also received the Advancement, Commitment and Engagement Award (ACE) for establishing a by-associates-for-associates strategy for objective-based mentoring programs leveraging the tool to support associates from diverse backgrounds.
These mentoring programs provide the support needed to propel associates’ success, which allows BD to be recognized for its mentoring program. Originally started in the U.S., there is an opportunity to bridge the two continents and give access to global mentors in the near future.
Céline Broutin: Diversity and inclusion is a change in mindset. We can benchmark ourselves and select the metrics that are the most relevant for diversity and inclusion within BD. On top of getting access to those resources, we put together the HBA Ambassadors Program and external mentors.
Despite the variations of gender equality, we still have the highest levels within the organization and have seen real progress at the senior manager level. We have worked on our internal bias and are now on par in development acceleration programs, as well. Rather than implementing a quota system, we prefer to work on hiring the right talent, irrespective of gender. Although, progress is slow we are already seeing a tangible difference and we are focused on having the changes develop in a sustainable manner for long-term impact.
How does the HBA fit with BD values and objectives moving forward?
Andréa Girardot: Our values highlight the "speak up" mindset we are looking to see deployed within the company. This is also one of the elements the HBA develops in the volunteers that contribute to the events. It is a great area of alignment.
Céline Broutin: The HBA is an organization where women display the behaviors expected from the leaders at BD. We highly value the empowerment of the teams and self-drive, which is central to ones’ development.
What are the next steps for BD as far as diversity and inclusion and the HBA are concerned?
Céline Broutin: As a result of gender-neutral job descriptions, promotion policy and remuneration, we are attracting and developing more and more women within BD. In turn, we also lose more talented women. It’s a normal consequence but clearly shows that the subject is not closed and will never be.
We need to continue to have role models to show that being a woman, with a good work-life balance and a high level of responsibility within the organization is possible. Women often have lots of doubts about their capabilities and HBA programs allow the dialog to happen on those topics. That’s why we will continue to partner on events and development programs with HBA Suisse Romande.
Andréa Girardot: We are going beyond gender and have had discussions on generations, backgrounds and cultures. As a result of our efforts, our HBA Ambassadors network is continuously growing. We now have groups in Switzerland of course, but also in Italy. We have established a 100 percent virtual EMA HBA Ambassadors group, with 40 women and men coming from different countries, languages and cultures. We are also looking for ways to improve remote networking opportunities, both inside and outside the organization. The EMA HBA Ambassadors group is a good place to start learning.
Externally, the HBA Annual Summit is also a great opportunity to continue the conversation with other healthcare industry leaders to share best practices and ideas on how to push the needle in diversity and inclusion.