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Young Leader Inspires and Engages Pfizer Canada Colleagues

Pfizer Canada recently welcomed Rupali, an undergraduate science student, through Plan International Canada’s Girls Belong Here seat share program. Now in its fifth year, the program is committed to gender equality by giving young women in Canada the chance to step into a leadership position for the week. This allows girls to see their potential and ability to lead while gaining new experiences and perspectives. During her virtual week at Pfizer, Rupali met with Pfizer Canada’s president, Cole Pinnow.

“One of my personal takeaways of meeting with Rupali is that while we, at Pfizer, have committed to support diversity, equity and inclusion, we still have much to learn. We need to continue to think about that area of opportunity as broadly as possible,” Cole shared with colleagues during an internal Pfizer Canada Town Hall meeting.

One of the areas they both discussed at length is how to reach the future generation: “I believe there are opportunities within Pfizer Canada where the younger generation can provide us with fresh perspectives and generate new insights. Diversity is what makes us stronger,” said Cole.

Rupali also connected with the Vaccines Team, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Community of Practice, and many other colleagues to learn about how we work. Rupali’s frankness and ability to eloquently express her thoughts was observed by every team member she met.Girls Belong Here Participants
From top left to right of the blue box: Cole Pinnow, Pfizer Canada President; Christina Cogan, Marketing Director; Alex Tsang, Brand Manager & DE&I Contributor; Frédéric Lavoie, Internal Medicine Lead; Lorella Garofalo, Regulatory Affairs Lead; Jennifer Pino, Brand Manager; Fabien Paquette, Vaccines Lead; Jelana Vojicic, Vaccines Medical Lead

“Rupali is a brilliant young leader and Pfizer Canada is excited to take part in the Girls Belong Here initiative, which is a memorable experience for all involved,” said Frédéric Lavoie, Internal Medicine Business Lead, at Pfizer Canada.

Rupali took the time to understand the way Pfizer operates and was able to provide a fresh perspective on the company’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. She highlighted the areas where Pfizer has already made strides in the right direction and provided insight on how we can continue to progress.

“With regards to incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels, this is something that all individuals at Pfizer are taking seriously and it’s amazing to see,” shared Rupali during the Town Hall meeting.

At Pfizer Canada, we choose to surround ourselves with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and abilities who can contribute unique viewpoints and perspectives to all aspects of the business, from drug development to marketing. Diverse teams are more collaborative, more accepting of difference, and more apt to discover and venture the delicate balance between being overly cautious and blindly risk-seeking.

“During what has been a historic and challenging year, the goals of the Girls Belong Here program have never been more important. Due to COVID-19, years of progress made for girls’ rights and equality have been unraveled and girls are being set back in every corner of the globe, including Canada. Creating safe spaces for girls to share their perspectives, build their leadership skills and have a voice in the decisions that will impact their lives and futures is critical to our global ability to build back a better world for all”, said Lindsay Glassco, President & CEO, Plan International Canada.

At Pfizer Canada, we stand with our partner, Plan International Canada in representing women and young people everywhere. During these unprecedented times, it is even more important to continue to inspire young women to recognize their inherent potential while also inspiring other leaders to join the Girls Belong Here initiative.