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The “Graziella Molinari Women in Pharma Award” Announced for 2022 Edition at the ISPE Italy Affiliate

The “Graziella Molinari Women in Pharma Award” Announced for 2022 Edition at the ISPE Italy Affiliate

Excellence is everywhere, and it must be illuminated. For the fourth consecutive year, the annual ISPE Italy Affiliate Award for women in the pharmaceutical sector will be organized by the local group of ISPE Women in Pharma® (WIP). This important initiative was created to celebrate the commitment, perseverance, professionalism and competence of the women who work in this sector, qualities that accompanied and distinguished the work of Graziella Molinari, former Vice President of ISPE Italy and active partner for many years, from which the recognition itself takes its name. Sadly, Graziella passed away in 2018, but her influence and dedication to the industry will live on through the award named for her.

The Graziella Molinari Award fits into the context of the activities of the Italian branch of Women in Pharma. Each year it is awarded to a woman who has distinguished herself for industrial projects developed to improve efficiency, quality and “smart” compliance, as well as sustainability activities and special initiatives in the areas of new therapeutics, business continuity during geopolitical crisis, and promotion of the Made in Italy certification abroad.

The picture of the life sciences industry is clearly that of a healthy and constantly growing sector, as we are seeing an estimated increase in sales of over 4.6%, which will lead to the achievement of 1.5 trillion dollars in global turnover. These positive numbers exist in Italy as well, where the pharma sector is confirmed as a driving force for the national economy. In fact, the local government reported an increase of + 8% of production in the first 4 months of 2022 correlated to an increase of + 32% in exports. As for gender diversity within the Italian companies, 43% of managerial roles are assigned to women, compared to 25% for the entire industrial sector. This is actually one of the highest percentages globally, considering also that over 25% of board members in the country are females. Even though the increase in sales and a strong female presence at first apparently seem unrelated to each other, if we take a closer look at McKinsey’s latest report on the subject, they do not seem too distant. In fact, we find that companies in the first quartile of gender diversity in executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than peers in the fourth quartile. The same report indicates that a greater level of diversity in the company is proportional to the probability of outperformance.

In the Pharma sector, women's shares are better represented than in other sectors. Quality, laboratory, regulatory, often in these areas the percentages of women, even in leadership roles, are high. However, if you move to STEM areas, the numbers will certainly return to those of other industrial sectors.

Micaela Prati

Winner of the ISPE Italy Affiliate’s Women in Pharma® Graziella Molinari Award in 2021, thanks to her project for the inclusion of #smart tags in a site production in order to improve not only efficiency, but also quality and compliance in a 4.0 perspective. 

The Graziella Molinari Award, at least as far as I'm concerned, rewards the most technical area of the pharmaceutical sector - the area of engineering and digitization. I was pleased that not only the innovative idea was rewarded, but also the technical realization. In my case, the use of smart tags was a good example of a technologically complex implementation and, at the same time, truly innovative as it had never been done before. I hope that women's initiative and courage will continue to be encouraged in the STEM areas and not only in traditional sectors. The sector, in the technical areas, needs to benefit from all the female creativity that too often remains unexpressed.

Micaela Prati


In addition to recognizing and rewarding women's competence and creativity in the technical areas, the Graziella Molinari Award wants to reward Italian female excellence abroad, as in the case of the second winner of the Graziella Molinari 2021 Award, Chiara Negrini, who shares that receiving the Graziella Molinari Women in Pharma® Award provided great satisfaction not only for personal and corporate recognition, but also for national pride. "As an Italian,” says Chiara, “being awarded for the results obtained on a project held in the heart of Germany reminds us that in addition to the 'dolce vita', our country has much, much more to offer."

As tradition dictates, the Award will be delivered during the annual ISPE Italy Affiliate Christmas Night, which will be celebrated this year in Milan on December 14th and which will also include the presence of important speakers from the industry and Italian political institutions, as well as members of the new committee in office.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be able to represent Women in Pharma® for the Italian subsidiary,” says Arianna Bianco, Chair of Women in Pharma® for the ISPE Italy Affiliate, “and as an engineer I believe that the enhancement of women is fundamental, especially in the technical fields where female shares are still in the minority. I believe that being a woman should not be seen as a disadvantage but rather the skills that distinguish us must be highlighted. Over the years, having to establish ourselves in the world of work and at the same time juggling children and family activities, I think we have gained skills such as excellent organizational abilities, creativity, multitasking and managing to stay focused on different issues at the same time. In an increasingly dynamic way of working, I think that these qualities, combined with technical and professional competence, are a plus that must be valued. Representing this Italian excellence is therefore an honor for me as well as a pleasure.”

“I can’t wait to see the new calendar of activities of the Women in Pharma® Italian group for next year” says Thomas Carganico, Women in Pharma® Ambassador and Marketing Chair at ISPE Italy, “and I will work on expanding even more the vision of the association, as I believe that valuing and celebrating diversity in our industry is an essential asset for the future workforce.”

Learn More about Italy Affiliate