‘Successful women in ELPA’s family,’ second act
On March 8, 2021 – Women’s Day, ELPA organized ‘Successful women inELPA’s family,’ a talk dedicated to highlighting some success stories of women involved in ELPA. It was the occasion to listen to some inspirational stories inextricably linked to patient advocacy, liver disease, and patients’ associations. The event was live-streamed on the ELPA Facebook page.
However, ELPA would like to continue raising awareness and share a positive message on this topic. Thus, it decided to turn the event into 6 written interviews featuring all the guests available on the ELPA website.
Pascale Cavillon, Global PatientCentricityDirector at Ipsen.
ELPA:Pascale, what is my work environment like in Pharma?
Pascale:From my studies as a pharmacist to my first 15 years in Pharma in the R&D field, the environment was predominantly women-led, I would say that 75 %. Being part of medical affairs and in patients’ affairs (at least in our team) is 50-50 as the overall distribution in Pharma is about 50-50.there are some disproportions per department with functions like sales, IT, finance is more man representation, HR, clinical development are more woman.
Globally in Pharma at the executive level, whatever the function, this is represented mainly by men. So still some work to do for a more balanced and representation of woman
E: You previously managed programs and studies from Phase I up to Phase IV in areas like woman health. Could you tell us more about it?
P:Yes, I still remember during the interview I had for this position, my furtur boss asked me why I should be best placed to work in this department, and I remember saying that as a woman and scientist, I wanted to take care of our health condition. You know women’s health is a vast health area going to contraception, menopausal, osteoporosis, and endometriosis. And if you take condition like endometriosis that impact your life with pain during menses up to fertility issue that takes 9 to 12 years to be diagnosed or if you think about menopausal symptoms with hot flushes, a lot of people among the society still think that because you are a woman it is normal to have pain, impact in QoL and delaying diagnostic. And well, no, it is not normal to suffer in silence. There is an absolute TABOO around these conditions, and here I see the outstanding role of patients’ organizations. They have the crucialrole of encouraging all people to speak up!
E: How do you think women can make a difference in a leadership position – accelerating transformation?
P:Society is made of man and woman; it is made of diversity, so it is crucial that around the table at the executive level, women are also represented, as we bring our perspective. And this is true everywhere where diversity brings this perspective.
For us in Pharma, it is vital that when we discuss the patient condition, we have around the table all stakeholder Physician, Nurse, including patients, patient organization whenever possible so their voice, perspective is heard to development the best patient care together.
E: A wish for the future…
P:Thinking about women’s health, I would like to encourage women and future generations to speak up and do not be afraid of also stressing their diversities on the table. This is the only way to fight against all types of stigma.