Blog post -
Supporting NNIT's commitment to Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 in Singapore
NNIT supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals with a special focus on no. 5 (among others). This goal focuses on gender equality, and how we can make changes in order to offer all genders the same opportunities. Carissa Choh is a great example of how to practice this strategy in real life.
Carissa Choh works as a Senior Consultant in NNIT Singapore. But she's also one of the contributing forces in the group that has established the ISPE Women in Pharma network.
Women in Pharma is a sub-group of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) of which Carissa is on the executive committee.
"Women in Pharma already existed in the US, but we thought it would be fruitful to start up a group in Singapore as well," Carissa said.
ISPE Singapore hosts a conference every year, and the team agreed to put gender equality in the pharma industry on the agenda to see if there was any interest in diving into the topic.
"It was the last event for the day on the ISPE conference agenda, but people stayed on. As we went overtime on the panel discussion, we knew that we had to establish a group where we could focus on how to empower women in pharma," Carissa said.
That's three years ago, and fruitful it has been.
Empowering women and enlightening the industry
Women in Pharma hosts various activities where various topics are discussed. Diversity is one of the overall topics, and by now, it's becoming a well-known fact that a more diverse team is a stronger team.
However, it requires consistent action from many stakeholders to ensure diversity in an industry, which is largely seen to be dominated by one gender.
"We focus a lot on empowering women and enlightening participants about how to navigate and progress in their careers within pharma, which tends to be viewed as a male-dominated industry. But the Women in Pharma program is not a sexist program in any way, and people of all genders are welcome at any time. The key is diversity," said Carissa.
Inspiring young professionals through mentorships and sharing sessions
"At our conferences, we've had speeches given by women in senior positions who shared their work life experiences. This has been a huge source of inspiration for younger women in pharma, and it has been eye-opening to the industry in general," Carissa said and added that these sharing sessions have been popular.
Women in Pharma also facilitates mentoring programs where young industry professionals are paired with more experienced women, allowing greater engagement on an individual level.
"The feedback we get from both the mentoring programs and the activities we conduct in general is very positive. And as long as we can see that we're making a difference to others, we'll keep on going," Carissa added.