UCB defines diversity as the accumulated richness our employees’ unique backgrounds, lives, cultural experiences, and diversity of thought that they bring to our work and organization. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we are showcasing the story of Alicia Clark, District Sales Lead, Rheumatology, as it is an inspiration to those around her both inside and outside UCB. Our work would not be possible if it were not for employees, like Alicia, who are leaving their own legacy on their colleagues, communities, and the patients we are committed to serving.
Alicia is known for her ability to inspire those around her both inside and outside UCB. Growing up during the Cuban Revolution, Alicia is no stranger to sacrifice, discrimination, or unrest. She recalls that before fleeing to the U.S. at the age of 11, her father was forced to cut sugar cane as punishment for standing against the government. Leaving their language, money, and life behind, Alicia’s family eventually moved to New Jersey hoping to find opportunity and a better life. Instead, her family was faced with discrimination, poverty, and even more hardship.
But looking back, Alicia values these sacrifices her parents made as she believes those years of witnessing the decisions her mother and father had to make for their family built her “glass half-full” and resilient mindset. Her parents always found ways to see the world from a positive lens, even when all hope seemed lost. She hopes this perspective from her parents is also the legacy that she leaves to her two daughters.
“All these things built me to appreciate the little things in our everyday-life more. In Cuba, we were stripped from the essentials like having a telephone and food was limited. I still don't take for granted what I have now in this country,” Alicia said.
When asked though who inspires her, Alicia is quick to answer with her two daughters, Hannah and Amanda. She says their perspectives as millennials are inspirational as they both can look at the world for what it is and continue to pursue improving it for the better anyways. In fact, her daughters often joke that the official term for doing the exact thing that is deemed impossible as “Pulling an Alicia”.
“I see it as paying it forward. My daughters inspire me every day to continue to believe in the good. I hope I have instilled the same perspective my father gave me in them,” she said.
Alicia continues to encourage this resilient and motivating mindset to her fellow members of the UCB employee resource group (ERG), Women in Leadership. As a leader within the organization, Alicia says “it's easy to look at this past year and everything that has happened to us as people, a company, or a country…we don’t have to accept it. We can continue to inspire each other and the rest of the world.”
Alicia also encourages her colleagues to join the various UCB ERGs such as RAIZ, the Hispanic and Latinx group she co-founded, as she believes these are opportunities to gain a greater perspective and ultimately choose who we are and what we stand for. For Hispanic Heritage Month, RAIZ will be hosting two events to create Hispanic/Latinx awareness, education, and highlight the patient healthcare journey. The first will feature Pulitzer Prize and Emmy recipient, Mirta Ojito, journalist and author, and the second will highlight demographics and research in the Hispanic patient population and feature three patients.
Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is foundational to our sustainability approach, and our company is fueled by passionate leaders, like Alicia. We are inspiring a culture of inclusion by providing equitable opportunities to all employees, embracing diverse talents and leveraging diversity of thought and experience to create value for patients, now and into the future. It is because of our employees that we can make a difference in the lives of patients and their families every day. Learn more about our commitment to DE&I.