March 8, marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. As a global leader in biopharmaceutical technology, Medicago values maintaining a company culture where women’s careers thrive, and their achievements are celebrated.

According to data from the World Health Organization, women make up 70% of the global health and care workforce, but they occupy just 25% of decision-making roles1. At Medicago, we are proud to have women represent 50% of our executive committee and 56% of our workforce. We believe that diversity cultivates innovation, and the strength of our people is what will continue to drive our success for years to come.

An important part of building a more equal world is inspiring young women to achieve their potential. In honour of International Women’s Day, we’ve asked some of our exceptional team members at Medicago to share their advice for young women who are thinking about pursuing a career in a male-dominated field.

  • Linda Xiang Wang, Clinical Studies Coordinator advises young women to practice integrity, uplift one another, and shatter the glass ceiling:

“To every young woman that is trying to find her voice: some days, you will doubt yourself, and you will feel anxious and maybe even overwhelmed. But never let anyone judge you based on your gender. Break through your fears and put yourself in stressful situations, because your actions can and will have a significant impact on the course of things. Sometimes, you will feel like an imposter but don’t let society define you as the weaker sex. The boys’ club mentality is a vicious cycle that is meant to be broken, just like a glass ceiling. Remember to support and advocate for other women instead of seeing them as competitors. Historically, undeniable progress has been made, but progress doesn’t mean parity just yet. Hopefully one day, being born a female will no longer be a disadvantage but in the meantime, focus on yourself and never lose your confidence.”

  • Ana Bascom, Sr. Director Regulatory Affairs recommends being adaptable when pursuing a career in a male-dominated field:

“Trust yourself and remember that knowledge and expertise do not know gender barriers.”

  • Sylvie St-Martin, VP Quality Assurance encourages a collaborative approach to leadership:

“Be true to yourself, set goals that are realistic to you and are aligned with your core values. When you lead by example and with respect and understanding of what your team and organization’s needs are, then you will be seen as an inspiring leader that others will want to work with. You have skills, abilities, knowledge and experience: share them and voice them proudly.

As leaders, women in general, bring skills, different perspectives, innovative ideas, they also encourage a collaborative environment as well as open and meaningful conversations with others, which I strongly believe are key elements to support growth of individuals, teams and organizations. Don’t be afraid or too cautious to voice your ideas, concerns or objections, and never let others define who you are as a person or as a leader. Trust yourself and know your self-worth! You got this!”

  • Carole-Ann Bacon, Legal Counsel explains how young women can take ownership:

“As a woman in law, I’m grateful for the women who stand for their dreams and believe in the future of young women. Being a woman today may appear easier but it’s still a work in progress for every woman and we need to stand together.

From my childhood, I’ve been encouraged by my father to be the independent woman that I wanted to be. I embrace every challenge and take them as an opportunity to grow. The most important thing I always remember is the hard work women accomplished before me and I do my best to be a model for the next generations.

Believe in your dreams and your strengths, you are stronger than you think. Ask yourself what you would do without any fear and so be it. Our world will always have people who try to bring you down, but we are stronger than we think.

Stay focused on your dreams and make sure that you show to the world the best version of yourself. Be authentic and honest, your strength will do the rest.”

1. WHO. Closing the leadership gap: gender equity and leadership in the global health and care workforce.  Accessed on March 7, 2021.