March / April 2023

Women in Pharma® Editorial: Mentor ISPE Launches for All Genders

Carolina Isabel Serrano Martinez
Women in Pharma® Editorial: Mentor ISPE Launches for All Genders

Arriving in the United States at the age of 17 to pursue my dreams was one of the greatest challenges of my life. It was through this experience that I learned the importance of challenging my perspective. This was made possible through my involvement with ISPE, and four years later, I’m proud to announce the launch of Mentor ISPE.

This innovative approach to mentorship redefines the traditional relationship between mentor and mentee with an all-inclusive approach to growth, regardless of gender, age, or industry experience.

Finding ISPE helped me to find my way when I immigrated to the United States from Colombia in pursuit of my dreams. I was alone and trying to navigate a new country and a foreign education system.

I first got involved with ISPE when I was a sophomore chemical engineering student at Texas A&M University working as a Technical Operations Anti-biotic Filling Co-Op for Merck. I saw a bulletin board flyer promoting ISPE and its member benefits, and it sparked an idea: we needed an ISPE Student Chapter at Texas A&M University.

Seeking Guidance and Connection

I barely understood what ISPE could do for my career or my peers’, but I knew we needed guidance and connections to move forward. I’m glad I trusted my instinct. After launching the Student Chapter with the support of ISPE’s South Central Chapter and ISPE International, I gained access to resources I never thought possible, including mentors. These key relationships helped pave the path that led me to my current role at Eli Lily as Operations Improvement Engineer and Top Talent Engineering Recruiter for Texas A&M.

Having mentors, especially those you don’t necessarily identify with, plays a critical role.

Since graduating, I’ve stayed a part of ISPE, and was proud to not only get involved as an Emerging Leader, but also to join Women in Pharma®. As a woman of color pursuing a career in a male-dominated industry, I recognize the importance of Women in Pharma, its emphasis on diversifying the pharmaceutical workforce, and the untapped potential that lies within underrepresented groups. As a result, I was glad to be part of developing Mentor ISPE.

Being a part of one of those underrepresented groups, I have experienced first-hand the lengths we must go to prove that we are capable of achieving great results. Having mentors, especially those you don’t necessarily identify with, plays a critical role.

Mentor ISPE’s Debut

In collaboration with Sara Brothers, Women in Pharma’s Mentorship Committee Co-Chair, and the Women in Pharma Mentorship Committee, Mentor ISPE sets out to connect participants from all corners of the world, of all ages and experience. Each group will consist of one student, Emerging Leader (EL), mid-level professional, and senior executive. This differs from the Mentor Circles because those are regional, while Mentor ISPE is international. Each participant will have the opportunity to teach and learn from each another regarding the industry, emerging technologies, and the future workforce. This program is designed to provide emerging professionals access to key relationships to move their careers forward, provide insight on technologies for a remote work environment, and help senior professionals prepare their organizations for the future.

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