This post was authored by Christian O’Brien, Specialty Sales Professional, Allergy Division, Sanofi US. Christian is the Co-Lead of PRIDE Connect, one of Sanofi’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). As we’ve shared previously, Sanofi ERGs tap into the richness of our diversity and provide employees a forum in which to exchange ideas, network, gain exposure to different aspects of the organization and be catalysts for cultural change. While company-supported and executive-sponsored, ERGs are managed by employees, enhancing career development and contributing to their personal development in the work environment. They also serve as a business resource, facilitating recruitment by allowing us to connect in different ways with potential employees.
Please read below to learn about PRIDE Connect at Sanofi, as well as the colleagues involved.
PRIDE Connect, Sanofi’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally inclusive ERG, was started in April 2014 with four employees from across the organization. It has grown since then to over 50 members with representation in each North American business unit, including a large presence from field and remote level employees. In 2014, David Ford, Vice President of Human Resources for North America, was identified as the Executive Sponsor for the group.
PRIDE Connect is committed to fostering an inclusive and safe environment for LGBT and Ally employees at Sanofi through providing education, social events, networking & mentoring opportunities and promoting policy advancements that are aligned with Sanofi’s progressive outlook towards the LGBT community. The champions of these initiatives are:
From left to right: David Ford, Executive Sponsor, VP, Human Resources; Christian O’Brien Co-Lead, Specialty Sales Professional, Allergy Division; Cyde Klaristenfeld, Co-Lead, Sr. IS Manager; Scott Bowker, Benchmarking Chair, Sr. Director, Information and Records Management; Kaitlin Santana, Ally Engagement Chair, Coordinator, Group Internal Audit; Scott Harris, Communications Chair, Head of Third Parties, Quality Management.
Some of the activities launched internally have a specific focus that employees have voiced an interest in learning about, or feel it’s a necessity to educate others. For example, in February, working in partnership with Parents Connect (a parent focused ERG), a dynamic speaker series called, “Navigating Bullying Today: Tips & Resources to Empower Parents of All Children” launched. Bullying is universal, whether kids identify as LGBT or not. And, we know that the results of bullying for being “different” could be tragic. The universal nature of this program spoke to the concerns that parents have when they send their children off to school every day. The speaker, Coach Randy Nathan, a thought leader in the NJ Metro area on bullying in sports, provided over 200 parents in attendance with the tools and resources to interact with their children, schools and communities about this topic.
Many asked if PRIDE Connect could extend this topic to children during our Take Your Kids to Work day onsite activity. At this most recent event, we were able to provide support to children who were currently experiencing bullying through facilitating workshops designed to encourage sharing of stories, and empowering them to speak out and stop bullying through intentionally designed activities.
PRIDE Connect is excited to provide programming as well as a forum for colleagues to take a stand against bullying and to help work towards making the next generation one that is more inclusive towards the diverse and unique attributes of all!
You can also learn about Mathieu, a Sanofi colleague who shares his perspective in the latest ‘Good Morning Sanofi’ video installment.