July / August 2020

Women in Pharma® Editorial: Virtual Connections

Jennifer Lauria Clark, CPIP
Jennifer Lauria Clark

How is your calendar looking these days? As I write this, we have all been living a bit differently today than we were one year ago. I’ll bet you have seen an increase in webinars, virtual trainings, and video conference calls, and likely having far fewer face-to-face interactions.

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The ISPE Women in Pharma® (WIP) networking community hopes that you have some type of Women in Pharma® event on your calendar at least once a month. Our volunteer and staff committee has been working very hard to put together programming and share lessons learned across the globe. The highly successful 2019 ISPE South Asia Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Conference on 25–27 September 2019 gave momentum to our model, and we had planned to continue the ISPE signature events in 2020. Given the change in circumstances, we have had to be agile and focus on how we can share the value of our community while remaining socially distanced.

More Communication

One way to do this has been with the launch of a monthly newsletter called The Bridge. We are communicating information on ISPE Chapter and Affiliate successes, ISPE conference and training updates, and other career-advancing topics such as mentorships, sponsorships, and embracing workplace challenges.

Our Mentor Circles may not be happening in person, but we are in full force virtually hosting Mentor Circles around the globe. Prior to the pandemic, my company planned on starting a virtual ISPE Mentor Circle within our organization so we could include as many interested professionals as possible. We have hosted the first one, which then led to a weekly gathering of men and women to support each other through the challenging stay-at-home requirements of the pandemic.

Women in Pharma®'s reach has gone beyond the borders of our membership. We are touching lives of women and men globally who may not work in an environment that offers constructive feedback or shares with them why each person needs to know their value within their workplace. Women in Pharma® is breaking down the barriers between continents with our virtually limitless global engagement and idea sharing.

Women in Pharma® is breaking down the barriers between continents with our virtually limitless global engagement and idea sharing.

2020 Goals

We made big plans in 2019 for 2020, and we continue our efforts to raise $25,000 for the ISPE Foundation to support other professionals looking to advance their careers. As of April, we have raised $10,000 toward our goal. If you are interested in supporting the Foundation, please reach out to me or visit the ISPE Foundation website.

We are still working toward achieving 20 Mentor Circles in 2020. For more information about the value of mentorship and Women in Pharma®’s support through Mentor Circles, see Jeannine Hillmer’s editorial "Women in Pharma® Editorial: Find the Light, Be the Light" in the May-June 2020 issue of Pharmaceutical Engineering®.

Overall, this has been a successful year for Women in Pharma®. I hope you have seen an article we posted on the ISPE iSpeak blog, attended a conference (in person or virtually), or listened to our podcast. Perhaps one of our messages resonated with you, and you now have stronger knowledge of yourself and clearer understanding of the value of your network. Thank you to all our volunteers and ISPE staff who help make Women in Pharma® a success. I look forward to seeing a Women in Pharma® event on your calendar very soon.