November / December 2020

Women in Pharma® Editorial: A Year of Mentoring, Education, and Collaboration

Alice Redmond, PhD
Women in Pharma® Editorial: Alice Redmond

2020 has been a super-busy year for ISPE Women in Pharma® (WIP). We started 2020 with aggressive goals, including to set up global Mentor Circles; start a monthly Women in Pharma® newsletter, The Bridge; and begin a column in Pharmaceutical Engineering®. Women in Pharma® has met and exceeded goals across all the key initiatives.

I am going to reflect on a few goals that really resonate with me. I am passionate about many things: mentoring is very high on the list! Women in Pharma® met its 2020 goal of developing 20 Mentor Circles in 2020. Mentoring is fundamental to personal and career development. It ensures important skills and knowledge are passed on within the Mentor Circle. Supportive relationships and friendships are formed. Mentors give objective advice and constructive feedback, are usually well connected within their arena, and the mentorship becomes mutually beneficial and personally rewarding for both parties.

Mentor Circles are a fantastic way to promote growing relationships and career development. They consist of about 10 women and men who meet four to six times each year, either face-to-face or virtually. These small groups spend half of their time together networking and the remaining time discussing relevant technical and career advancement topics. Guest speakers and subject matter experts support the circles. Mentor Circle participants are encouraged to network outside of official meetings and use tools such as LinkedIn groups to support friendship, collaboration, career development, and relationship growth. We estimate we will have five more Mentor Circles by the year’s end: hurry up and join! The Women in Pharma® page on the ISPE website has more information.

Webinars and Networking

Our Women in Pharma® webinars and networking events have had a global transverse impact in a way we could not imagined. This would have not happened if we did not have the torment of COVID-19!

The ISPE United Kingdom Affiliate’s Women in Pharma® webinar series has provided some very interesting topics, including “Fear, Focus, and Fruitfulness,” “Tips to Keep Focused in Challenging Times,” and “The Three Pillars of Structure, Trust, and Communication.” The ISPE Carolina–South Atlantic (CaSA) Chapter’s Women in Pharma® group has had a busy few months with a number of virtual Lunch & Learns on our changing work environment during COVID-19, including “Leader-ship & Strategies for Teams” and “Transform and Empower Yourself.” A CaSA webinar focused on diversity, inclusive behaviors, and mentoring. It was a huge success, with more than 100 global attendees.

The ISPE Brazil Affiliate hosted two webinars on “Neuroscience and the Return to Work Post-Crisis” in Brazil’s native language, Portuguese, and “Clinical Trials and COVID-19”; the latter had more than 70 attendees. We had great collaboration between the ISPE Los Angeles Chapter Women in Pharma® and Young Professionals (YP) groups to host a very lively webinar on “Navigating a Career in Pharma During COVID-19.” The ISPE Ireland Women in Pharma® group has hosted a number of sessions, including “Navigating the Virtual World in Business,” “Building Your Personal Brand and Executive Presence,” and “Single-use Technology,” with attendees from both Ireland and elsewhere in the EU.

Getting Involved with Women in Pharma®

The ISPE Women in Pharma® Community of Practice (CoP) is a great venue for sharing information, asking questions of your fellow Women in Pharma® members, and posting items of interest to the Women in Pharma® community. If you have not yet joined, be sure to do so today! We challenge those who are engaged with Women in Pharma® to spread the word: reach out to colleagues and friends who may not be aware of this initiative.

We have had a year of connectivity. Our July event, Sunrise to Sunset, was amazing and truly connected our ISPE community. Our Chapter and Affiliate events have more global attendees at each one. Our ISPE Women in Pharma® brand and community have grown from strength to strength. and we should be very proud of this ISPE initiative. Let’s make sure we plan to innovate, grow, and expand further in 2021.

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