Meet Samantha Warren, one of our I&D practitioners based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, US. In order to build community and I&D capabilities, Sam and our US Employee Resource Groups implemented a strategic plan to celebrate difference through the development of programs with a lens on individuals with intersecting identities.
After training in microbiology and genetics, Sam worked in R&D in clinical research as a Study Manager and Clinical Development Scientist. These days, she’s following her calling which includes managing the US Outreach relationships and leading GSK’s US Employee Resource Groups; whose remit includes pulling through the US I&D strategy of continuing to embed an inclusive culture at GSK.
How are we building community at GSK? Planting the Seed
There are multiple approaches to building community in corporate spaces. Sam has challenged the leaders of our ERGs to take a novel approach and think about developing intersectional I&D programming with the potential to build community – speak to the ‘whole person’ and celebrate difference. With the seed planted, our ERGs have and continue to deliver on this objective.
Bearing the Fruit
The latest example of community building and celebrating difference at GSK is a cross-ERG collaboration to commemorate the International Day of Cultural Diversity. Prompted by a thought-provoking Harvard Business Review article on interrupting bias, an ERG Leader asked if other ERGs would be interested in offering a collaborative cross-ERG event based on the article. Sam asked the ERG Leads if they would be interested in using the opportunity to commemorate International Day of Cultural Diversity and then reached out to our ex-US based colleagues to identify other opportunities across GSK’s footprint to commemorate the day.
The United Nation’s World day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development provides GSK with a great opportunity to build community through the sharing of differing cultures of which we are all proud of. Our engagement in the day also provides an opportunity for us to build our cultural competency— to debunk a few stereotypes, identify a few of our own biases about other cultures and most importantly open the door for healthy and constructive conversations about difference.