Connections Made at CPhI North America’s Women in Leadership Forum

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CPhI North America 2018 is hosting a forum for female pharmaceutical professionals to network, collaborate, and share their perspectives at this year’s conference.

This year’s CPhI North America will once again feature a Women in Leadership Forum designed to foster connections and collaborations between female pharmaceutical professionals. The program will be held Tuesday, April 26th from 8:00–11:30 am and will include networking sessions, a keynote address, and a panel discussion.

The panel discussion, Empowering Women to Thrive-moderated by Alise Cortez, PhD, podcast host and a consultant at Insigniam-will explore the vitality and importance of women leaders and progression within the pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals markets, as well as challenges women still face. Other discussion topics include mentoring, corporate cultures, self-empowerment, and paying it forward.

Speakers include Lynn Taylor, senior vice-president and Head of Healthcare Global Government & Public Affairs at Merck KGaA; Tina Garyantes, vice-president, Therapeutics at Chromocell; Mike Kosko, vice-president for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Corporate Sponsored Agreements at Pfizer CentreOne; and Hugh Welsh, president, General Counsel & Secretary of DSM North America.

The National Science Foundationreports that 57.2% of bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of master’s degrees, and 50.1% of all doctoral degrees are earned by women. Despite this, there is still a discrepancy in employment in various professional areas, including the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, according to a Glassdoor report, there is a notable and unexplained 5.4% wage gap between men and women, even after adjustments are made to account for factors such as age, experience, and occupation. However, the adjusted wage gap is amongst the smallest in the biotech and pharmaceuticals companies.

According to CPhI, the Women in Leadership forum seeks to address these issues head-on and provide constructive dialogue where experts in this industry share experiences and strategies helpful in establishing equality, as well as unleashing untapped potential in the industry. 

“It’s pretty well understood that when you’re in the majority culture-it could be by gender, by race, by national origin-you’re completely blind to your privilege,” Welsh stated in a company press release. “I was blind to the privilege that I enjoyed until I built up a relationship with those who are part of the minority culture in the company who could help enlighten me.”


“The 2018 edition of the CPhI North America Women in Leadership Forum will focus on ‘leveraging support systems’, from mentoring to exploring inspiring corporate initiatives,” said Joseph Marks, Brand Director for CPhI North America, in the release. “This year’s speaker line-up-a highly experienced and diverse panel of Pharma experts-will share wisdom, personal experiences, and advice throughout the discussion, enabling attendees to take away tangible tools to benefit both their own career and to help others’ career growth. The Women in Leadership Forum is an important opportunity for networking, personal development, and promoting diversity in pharma-issues that we’re passionate about.”

Group discussions and a coffee/networking session will follow the panel discussion.

For more information and to register, visit

Source: CPhI

Editor’s Note: updated on April 12, 2018.