2017: Bristol-Myers Squibb and athenahealth, Inc., Honored with 2017 ACE Awards

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and athenahealth, Inc., have earned widespread industry recognition from the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) for their internal leadership programs that advance and enhance the careers of women.

HBA’s Advancement, Commitment and Engagement (ACE) award recognizes companies committed to ensuring that gender diversity and leadership opportunities for women are part of their organizational DNA. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb Network of Women (B-NOW) and athenahealth Women’s Leadership Forum are a result of organizations that get it and their initiatives demonstrate that gender diversity is not just good for women, it’s good for business,” said Laurie P. Cooke, HBA’s chief executive officer.

A panel of industry leaders and academics judged entrants against five criteria: measurable results and impact on target population; degree to which it supports the overall business; stewardship, or depth of commitment to the program; effectiveness of the execution; and built-in sustainability.

B-NOW is Bristol-Myers Squibb’s largest global people and business resource group (PBRG) with more than 3,500 members worldwide, spanning 42 countries. Women make up more than 50 percent of the BMS workforce and as a result of the B-NOW initiative, there is a higher representation of women at the global executive, manager and professional level. Greater engagement among female leaders and promotion rates among women who are B-NOW members are also evidence of the success of this empowerment initiative. Engaging employees through PBRGs is just one way Bristol-Myers Squibb helps deliver on the company mission to help patients prevail over serious diseases.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb’s B-NOW PBRG boasts impressive gender diversity metrics, strong governance structure, and strategic business and community partnerships, supported by senior executive leadership. This impressive scorecard clearly earned them this year’s HBA’s large company ACE award,” said Cooke.

athenahealth’s Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) launched in 2013 with a business approach to challenge the status quo and disrupt the healthcare industry. Within four short years the initiative was able to increase WLF membership to more than 1,130 members, making up what is now 40 percent of the organization’s female workforce, and more than 20 percent of their entire employee base. A WLF chapter is present in every athenahealth office in the United States, as well as in athenahealth’s India offices.  At the onset, the goal of the WLF was to sponsor at least one quarterly activity to help promote open conversation around women’s leadership and facilitate networking opportunities. Today, the WLF sponsors more than 60 networking and/or educational activities per year and has access to the highest levels of athenahealth leadership to help provide leadership and business insights and drive change in gender diversity and inclusion practices.

The WLF vision is to make athenahealth the best place for women to work and since its launch, the initiative has already resulted in measurable differences. “The company has made great strides in its goal of achieving true gender parity, as employee engagement metrics have significantly increased, gender pay gaps have closed and senior leadership has committed deep resources to driving gender parity. These advancements have garnered the 2017 HBA’s medium company ACE award for athenahealth,” said Cooke.

HBA’s ACE awards will be presented at the association’s annual conference in Philadelphia, Penn., on November 7, 2017. More than 1,000 leaders from all sectors of healthcare, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, hospital, payers and service companies, will gather at this industry acknowledged “must attend” event to build business connections for a sustainable leadership advantage, learn from thought leaders to broaden perspectives and to help advance leadership opportunities for women in the industry. A list of previous ACE recipients can be found here.

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. With over 25 chapters throughout the US and in Europe, HBA serves a community of nearly 50,000 individuals and 120 Corporate Partners. The HBA provides networking forums to build relationships; knowledge sharing and access to thought leaders to broaden perspective; educational programs to develop leadership skills and cutting-edge industry knowledge and recognition of outstanding women and companies to promote visibility of their achievements.