MSD Ireland's Women's Network celebrates influential leaders driving workplace equality

IWD Best Practice Winners

Role models and change-makers can help inspire people to advocate for gender equality. 

For International Women's Day, MSD Ireland Women's Network invited inspirational people to form a panel and share their own experiences of gender balance in their careers to inspire the network to engage in positive and proactive discussions and to take action against inequality in the workplace.

Drawing on examples from both inside and outside the company, panellists focused on career progression, how they balance their personal and professional lives, and advice on overcoming obstacles. The opportunity also provided important networking with the influential and impactful leaders.

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Company-wide collaborative effort to drive equality

MSD's campaign was particularly impactful because the whole community came together to volunteer their time, energy and ideas to help make the event a success. Employees volunteered in the areas of Speaker Management, Communications, and Event Management, and reached into their personal networks to secure the panelists. 

This collaborative approach made the event both diverse and inclusive as team members came from different areas of MSD, including Human Health to Communications, in both local, regional and global roles. All contributed their own personal experiences and skills.

One team member, Ingrid Miller, stepped outside her comfort zone to moderate the 45 minute-long panel discussion, keeping it energetic, engaging and inclusive of the audience. Another team member, Valentina Contreras, balanced wedding planning with managing communications and promotion for the event, including getting a photographer on-site, introducing and closing the event on the day and carrying out follow-up communications to highlight the importance of gender equality and to gain more members for the network. Finally, Aurelie Boyer took the lead in organising logistics, preparing the cakes and the room, and introducing the speakers.

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Hearing from a diverse group of leaders

Thanks to the hard work of MSD employees, around 50 people attended the panel discussion that saw more than 500 engagements with online content promoting the event.

The pannelists themselves came from diverse backgrounds, but were all leaders in their fields: Vivienne Jupp, Non Executive Board Member at Premier Lotteries Ireland former Senior Partner at Accenture, who has been pivotal in driving positive change for Diversity and Inclusion in Ireland; Emer Kennedy, Global HR Senior Director for Google’s Customer Solutions, who gave her perspective from one of the world’s largest and most powerful organisations and what they are doing to shape gender parity; Scott Raveling, MSD Ireland Ireland Finance Director, who discussed transitioning from a military background to a career in finance; and Kat Gilly, MSD HR Shared Services, EMEA Director, who shared her perspective on gender bias and corporate diversity programs.

The panellists shared their personal career experiences and valuable insights on gender balance in boardrooms, gender gap in STEM fields, the importance of role models in inspiring women’s career growth, fighting bias and the importance of a better balance for a better world.

For MSD, International Women's Day wasn't an isolated effort. Following the event, the organization continued to build on the momentum from the event to drive awareness of the importance of gender balance in the workplace, and to increase membership of its Women’s Network - continuing the fight for gender equality. 

Further IWD activity from MSD around the world

Colleagues from MSD offices around the world also participated in local activity to celebrate women's achievements and call for a #BalanceforBetter.  

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