Women in Healthcare: Constanza LosadaBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 09/02/2020 - 10:12
Q: As a woman, what unique challenges and opportunities did you face in the healthcare industry?
A: I was fortunate to begin my journey in the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer. During the 12 years that I have collaborated with the company, I have found an organization where equity, diversity and inclusion predominate, which are part of our corporate values.
We truly believe that Pfizer is great because of its differences and not in spite of them. This means that talent and opportunities are not a question of gender, since both men and women have the same opportunities to develop within the company and to assume leadership positions.
However, this reality is not yet the same for everyone. As a socially responsible company, over time we have done our part to change this by equitably integrating groups that have traditionally been less favored within the world of work, including women, the LGBT+ community and people with disabilities.
I like to imagine that Pfizer has helped more women in the industry take strategic positions, as well as normalize workplaces that are free from discrimination. Each of us deserves to work in companies that genuinely care about our professional growth and where there is a proper work-life balance.
Q: From an educational and professional perspective, what steps should be taken to promote a positive and fruitful work environment for women in the industry?
A: Everything starts with a company’s values and mission. Acting with integrity and ethically is the first step to having a positive work environment, in addition to being open to constant self-evaluation and incorporation of policies and good practices to always meet the needs of people and, of course, of the organization.
Throughout the year at Pfizer, we hold educational sessions for our colleagues regarding health, leadership, diversity and inclusion, motherhood and personal finances, among many other topics. The goal is to sensitize everyone to these issues and give them tools they can apply in their daily life. We have proven time and time again that having diverse and happy work teams not only increases creativity and enriches professional development, but also contributes to innovations that improve the quality of life of patients in a faster and more effective way.
Q: What advice would you give to women in the healthcare industry who want to grow and reshape the sector?
A: Every woman, regardless of the position and area to which she belongs, can inspire more women, whether defending their achievements, applying to positions that carry more responsibilities, proposing new ways of working or questioning the status quo. Women can also take advantage of the benefits of their organizations. At Pfizer, we offer maternity and paternity leave, wellness programs and incentives beyond what the law demands. Furthermore, communication with leaders is open-door, which allows for more flexible interpersonal relationships between employees and management. This is a more pleasant, informal and unstructured approach where each person can express their ideas and concerns, solve conflicts or request guidance, support and feedback.
Also, I would advise other women not to miss out on growth opportunities. We must lose the fear of supporting ourselves in our close circles, be it partners, friends or colleagues, since it is valid and necessary to reach our maximum potential.
Q: How do you promote gender equality as a health professional?
A: Pfizer is a company that touches lives. Our work starts from offering health to people beyond their circumstances or possibilities. Promoting dignified and equal treatment is part of our DNA and we share this feeling with each of our collaborators. This has allowed women and men to focus on the mission of generating world-class science without fear of being judged because of their gender, age, appearance or sexual orientation.
Part of our responsibility is to create healthy work environments where freedom, safety and respect prevail, because ahead of being professionals we are people who need well-being in every area and moment of our life.
Q: What is Pfizer doing to help to close the gender gap in the sector?
A: Our motivation is not to meet a gender quota or representativeness, but to genuinely recognize people's abilities and talents. Likewise, we strongly reject any act of discrimination, abuse or harassment against any colleague. In fact, one of our most representative initiatives is the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was established more than five years ago and is supported by our internal culture and values of equity, excellence, courage and joy. This committee manages seven programs: women, life and work balance, LGBT+, disability, volunteering, unconscious biases and communication and it has undoubtedly brought strength and visibility to equality in salaries and managerial and directorial positions between women and men, while having a more balanced workforce between both sexes, favoring skills over any other characteristic and promoting educational sessions that not only impact employees but also favor the construction of a more diverse and inclusive society. It is time to see gender equality as a right and make it the rule for companies to consider employees first as the engine that drives them.
Making Pfizer a good workplace for everyone, especially women, has helped build a solid and competitive organization, creating a virtuous circle that empowers our talent to continue generating innovations that significantly change the lives of patients.
Pfizer is one of the largest multinational biopharmaceutical corporations in the world. It is headquartered in New York City and in 2018, it ranked 57th on Fortune’s list of the 500 largest US corporations by total revenue