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International Day of Women and Girls in Science: 3 Insights, 3 Things Learned

I had the honor of speaking at my alma mater, The University of Texas, at the College of Pharmacy a few weeks ago. The invitation was to speak and organize a career workshop for graduate students and PharmD students.

The reason for the event: International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

My objective was to provide some solid career advice from how to write a resume to networking to interviewing skills. But an interesting thing happened: while I was preparing for, during and after the presentation and workshop, I learned an incredible number of things, myself! (and for those of you that I’ve spoken to since the seminar, you’ve probably already heard me gush about this already!)

Because the event was for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I wanted to do some research on how women are currently represented in the industry.

Here are 3 interesting insights:

  1. Where globally women represent 51% of the population, they only make up 39% of the workforce. In some countries, women are responsible for less than 25% of the workforce. In the United States, however, women are better represented.
  2. Women are outpacing men in the number of those entering the workforce in the healthcare industry. According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, greater than 60% of entry-level positions are being filled by women.
  3. The mission of the United Nations to improve the gender gap in STEM-related careers is seemingly getting accomplished. Since its resolution was adopted in 2015, gender equality in all areas has continued to improve.

But I learned other things about the people I’m honored to know:

Women in pharma are a giving and charitable sisterhood.

I asked three women to join me that day to share real-life experiences with these pharmacy students, some of whom only got a week’s notice. No one said no; everyone I asked wanted to help! I would like to extend a big THANK YOU, Cristina Casstevens, PhD, Quynhchao Doan, RPh, PhD, and Giulia Agnello, PhD, for their generosity and time with everyone.

This generation is far more prepared than I was.

Everyone asked such good questions. I even had first-year PharmD students asking me what they can do to “build their resume” with experiences, internships, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, and coursework, all to better prepare themselves to be most marketable once they graduate.

I want to be more involved.

The SEMbio family is big on volunteerism. We always have been. Historically, our recruiters have traveled to speak at career events at such places as Stanford University, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, and have several more invitations on the horizon. But one thing I left Austin, Texas, which was a desire to be involved in seeing more Longhorns find successful homes in the pharmaceutical industry. With that, I offered to come back once a semester to do a career or resume workshop. And I can’t wait for my next trip to Austin! (of course, in full transparency, my daughter Paige is a freshman at UT, so there will actually be a lot of trips to Austin in my future!)


Author: Mary C. Morton 

A SEMbio co-founder and managing partner, Mary is also a member of the prestigious Pinnacle Society. Mary graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, College of Natural Sciences, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and additional studies in UT’s College of Pharmacy. She takes the necessary steps to make an employer-employee match that’s “right” instead of simply “right now.”
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