UCB’s employee resource groups (ERGs) are key platforms for employee-led discussions around specific gender, age, and minority-related topics. Two new local ERGs were created in 2020 to bridge the internal gaps and barriers for employees of different ethnicities and backgrounds. In a year when the global Black Lives Matter protests drew further attention to the systemic nature of racial injustices and inequities in many countries, UCB wanted to ensure that our DE&I initiatives were delivering on their expectations and needs, particularly for under-represented employees.
UCB BEING (Black Employee Interconnecting Network Group) is one of these new ERGs, founded to support the recruitment, retention, engagement, professional development, and advancement of Black employees. By driving discussion around ideas and issues particularly relevant to the Black community, BEING is working to address social, cultural, and workplace matters that impact our organization and the biopharma industry as a whole. And while the group is intended to represent the black community at UCB, the group wants to provide an inclusive environment for all employees from every background who are encouraged to join, network and participate.
“We are focused on moving the needle forward internally in the DE&I space and are working to ensure there is equitable treatment of different ethnic and racial groups within UCB.”
Last year also saw the creation of RAIZ, a group dedicated to supporting and uniting UCB’s many Hispanic and Latinx colleagues, as well as patients. This community, which draws its name from the Spanish word for “root”, is focused on the recruitment of Hispanic and Latinx people, career development and progression, and addressing the unmet needs of Hispanic and Latinx patients. Its overall aim is to ensure that all employees and patients feel represented and connected to their personal heritage as they grow in their relationship with UCB.
“It is important that, with the current events, for our employees to feel connected. As UCB evolves, so should our diversity, equality, and inclusion efforts. I have been fortunate to experience life through many cultural lenses and this group will allow others to do so as well”
In 2020, the Women in Leadership group, which aims to help all women at UCB to realize their professional goals and amplify UCB’s impact on society, welcomed several new chapters this year and our Youngsters community has continued to encourage cross-generational networking and collaboration in welcoming new young career starters.
2020 also marked the one-year anniversary of UCB+, our network for LGBTQ+ employees. This group aims to create an open, inclusive and safe environment for all LGBTQ+ employees and allies at UCB, where everyone feels equal and valued regardless of their sexual orientation or gender expression. This year UCB+ members participated in a number of virtual events, including the recent virtual Georgia Diversity Council Unity Summit and a virtual happy hour for members to discuss the importance of the group, increasing engagement, and LGTBQ+ history.
Spotlight story: Women in Science
UCB is committed to creating a workplace culture that encourages innovation among all our employees. We are particularly focused in playing our part in championing and uplifting women working in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM), to create a more diverse pool of innovators, researchers and inventors – and we are proud to employ many female scientists who are working hard to advance science and create value for patients. Here are some of their stories.
Cierra, Senior Research Scientist
Yuan, Senior Principal Scientist
Nikita, Research Scientist II
Cierra knew she wanted to be a scientist from a young age, and pursued chemistry at first, before entering the pharmaceutical industry. Here she found that her work ethic and expertise was the secret to success, regardless of her gender.
While at college, where less than a quarter of her classmates were female, Yuan discovered her passion for data science and its possible applications for healthcare. She switched her major from computer science to data science and computational life sciences.
Nikita became fascinated by biology after learning about kidneys in a high school science class. This led her to pursue university studies in molecular biology and regenerative medicine, before entering industry, where she is now a part of UCB’s functional genomics team.