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Diversity In Action

Sanofi is hiring for major plants in the U.S.

The company's growth and diversification strategy creates a constant need to bring in skilled engineering professionals worldwide


In April 2011 global healthcare company Sanofi (Paris, France) made a $20 billion acquisition of Genzyme Corp, one of the world's leading biotech companies. The same year, Sanofi integrated Merial, a leader in animal health. The result has been a boost to diverse recruiting, and the development of new products that differentiate Sanofi from its competitors, says Benoît Massal, who heads up the North American talent and workforce planning team.

"As a result of the growth and diversification strategy, we have a constant need to hire skilled engineers and other professionals worldwide," Massal says.

"We value people with the diverse experience that helps them understand what it's like to work in a global organization, and professionals with experience working in team environments where effective communication plays an integral role in solving challenges. We also value a patient-focused sense of urgency with attention to detail and commitment to our internal and external customers," he adds.

The company has specific skill needs in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical product lines and in the vaccines businesses, Massal says. It needs ChEs and other engineers in areas of equipment, packaging and process validation, and site services departments are bringing in engineers for facility planning and optimization at each of Sanofi's many locations.

The company looks for techies who have had exposure to current good manufacturing practices (GMPs) or familiarity with relevant sections of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Engineers with PE credentials are valued.

In the U.S., most job needs are in manufacturing, equipment and packaging engineering, Massal notes. Genzyme, for example, has a number of vacancies at its facilities in Framingham and Allston, MA. The vaccine division has openings at its large manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania. There are also needs in some supply-chain facilities, specifically in Forest Park, GA, near Atlanta.

Sanofi also has IT openings. Global services for IT are managed from the U.S. "It's a platform that serves the entire company," Massal explains. The company needs infrastructure engineers who can "connect the dots" among various data structures, he says.

Lara Jones, manager of diversity and inclusion, explains that Sanofi partners with national and university groups, like the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, as well as the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, offering summer internships, co-ops and full-time jobs.

Through Genzyme, Sanofi supports the Biomedical Science Careers Program (bscp.org), Jones adds. Genzyme and Sanofi provide scholarships to students at target universities, offering exposure to a fast-paced and collaborative environment with a focus in the STEM areas, Jones explains. "Our students work side-by-side with biopharmaceutical industry professionals, and have a very real opportunity to make an impact in the lives of patients around the globe."

For its MBA intern program, the company targets the National Black MBA Association and several other associations and universities. Another connection is the National Biotechnical and Pharmaceutical Association, a professional organization for African Americans in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. "A woman from Sanofi is chair of their board," Jones reports.

The company is currently putting together a U.S. diversity and inclusion council, Jones adds.

Sanofi has a very active women's network, Women Inspiring Sanofi Excellence (WISE). Established seven years ago, WISE has grown to 1,200-plus members nationwide. "It's the catalyst for leadership development for Sanofi women," Jones notes. The group was honored in 2010 with an award from the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association.

A formal WISE mentoring group, currently in its second year, may become the inspiration and model for a broader-based, company-wide mentoring program, Jones reports.

Last year a group of U.S. employees started a movement to form a diverse employee resource group. "They are coming up with really exciting ways to drive business by making connections with the groups they represent," Jones says.

A group for former military service members is also starting up. "They come with us to career fairs to help us understand the transferrable skills on a military service member's resume," Jones notes.

Last year Sanofi launched a nationwide online diversity and inclusion training program with modules for individuals and managers. It has also hosted leadership sessions with an external expert, targeting senior leaders within the organization.

One HR team member is dedicated full-time to work-life programs. Recently the company has increased flexible options like remote work, part-time work and job sharing, and added family-friendly programs like discounts for daycare centers and backup elder and child care.

Sanofi supports the education of employees' children as well, through a competitive scholarship fund that provides $2,500 for eligible dependents. There's even a very useful "college coach" program to help employees' kids prepare for college and the SAT exams.

Last year Sanofi launched a volunteer week with opportunities "centered around organizations that fit in with our business, or organizations that focus on the patients," Jones explains. In addition, employees have two paid days a year to do their own volunteering.

Each year the company sponsors interns from schools in minority communities. "By hosting the interns, Sanofi is able to provide a diverse corporate experience and give the students exposure to a variety of career paths," Jones says. "Our hope is that we are helping to build a pipeline for the kids to have a future in the healthcare industry, definitely including technical and engineering jobs."

D/C




www.sanofi.us

U.S. Locations: Bridgewater, NJ;
Cambridge, MA;
Duluth, GA;
Swiftwater, PA
Employees: 17,600 in the U.S.;
110,000 worldwide
Global Revenues: €33.4 billion ($43.4 billion)
Business: Diversified global healthcare

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