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62 weeks. 62 female leaders. 62 inspirational stories.... and that’s a wrap!

Women in Pharmacy supporter Sherif Guorgui of OnPharm-United

Since October 2020, in partnership with, a female leader in pharmacy has been featured on a weekly basis. 62 leaders were featured from Australia, Canada, England, Finland, India, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Spain and the USA. The goal of this initiative was to showcase the amazing contributions of women to the pharmacy profession across the globe. From frontline pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to entrepreneurs and corporate leaders...from industry to academia, to regulation and is evident that women are having a significant impact on all sectors of the profession.

I would like to end the series with a tribute to all the leaders featured. They each had an amazing story and an inspiring message.

Andrea D’Angelo (Ontario) – Week 1

“I’ve always had a passion for pharmacy.  It’s in my blood.”

Jen Baker (Ontario) – Week 2

“We must take time to envision what our future could and should look like. Then we must shape that future, together.”

Margaret Brna (Ontario) – Week 3

“I’m proud to be a Canadian pharmacist. We’re on the cutting edge of pharmacy internationally.”

Sherry Peister (Ontario) – Week 4

“We NEED and WANT [every new graduate] to drive the profession forward.”

Erin MacKenzie (Prince Edward Island) – Week 5

“It is very rewarding to be able to have a say in the direction your profession takes!”

Deb Saltmarche (Ontario) – Week 6

“We need to look beyond our individual interests and pursue a focus on our commonalities and shared goals.”

Sari Westermarck (Finland) – Week 7

“I think that there is a new generation of female pharmacists that are more interested in taking more responsibility and being more actively involved.”

Amy Oliver (Manitoba) – Week 8

“We need to see a very purposeful, collaborative, and sustainable effort at individual, organizational, and societal levels in order to hammer away at the walls and barriers experienced by so many women until that glass ceiling comes crashing down.”

Carla Beaton (Ontario) – Week 9

“I am so mesmerized by the women leaders I see in pharmacy today. Professionally it makes me very proud to be a pharmacist and personally it inspires me to continue to be better myself.”

Carmen Peña (Spain) – Week 10

“By the way, my first and best mentor was my mother.”

Catherine Duggan (Netherlands) – Week 11

“We need national policies and legislation to promote and empower women to apply, achieve and deliver in senior management positions, boards of directors and presidencies.”

Pawandeep Sidhu (Manitoba) – Week 12

“The experience, skills, and networks you gain from unexpected opportunities will only make you stronger, more capable, and confident to continue to move forward.”

Allison Bodnar (Nova Scotia) – Week 13

“You have to be patient – sustainable change does not happen overnight.”

Christine Poulin (Quebec) – Week 14

“I would also encourage women to expand their exposure and competencies in different function and/or areas of industry, especially those that tend to be male dominated.”

Nancy Lum-Wilson (Ontario) – Week 15

“I never had a specific goal for my future other than a very strong passion to make a difference. My only goal was to do my part to leave the world a little better than when I came into it.’

Margaret Wing (Alberta) – Week 16

Be true to yourself. Do what you want to do because it is what you are passionate about.”

Hala Jawad (UK) – Week 17

“Executive roles, and any role for that matter in pharmacy, should always be filled by the person most qualified to do the job regardless of gender.”

Connie Beck (Ontario) – Week 18

“Organizations, associations, and regulatory boards need to put policies and processes in place to promote equality.”

Leonie Ocampo (Philippines) – Week 19

“It is a matter of all women to keep on believing that WE too CAN.”

Kristen Watt (Ontario) – Week 20

“Don’t get dragged down by nay sayers.  Only you can set your limitations.  If you want something, ask for it.”

Dianery Pagon (Alberta) – Week 21

“When more companies begin to acknowledge and put into action the need for diversity, inclusion, and equity as an everyday practice, then we will see more women in executive roles across various sector in the profession.”

Rita Egan (Ontario) – Week 22

“As a woman, your inclusive voice is critical in defining what diverse pharmacist leadership can be. That path ahead is not easy, but certainly rewarding and attainable. It starts with you.”

Jane Ling (Ontario) – Week 23

“I never considered my gender a barrier and I led my life that way. Conviction and confidence are important to be successful in accomplishing your goals.”

Shelley Morgan-Bair (Ontario) – Week 24

“I strongly feel that all new female pharmacy students should be encouraged to speak up, share their thoughts, tell their stories, and let their voices be heard!”

Linda Prytula (Ontario) – Week 25

“I would urge new graduates to set their goals high, keep their options open and believe in themselves. The other thing I would recommend is to get involved, whether it is volunteering at local associations, provincial or national bodies, you will find it extremely rewarding.”

Rachelle Rocha (Ontario) – Week 26

“To be a leader, you must simply lead the way.”

Sandra Aylward (Nova Scotia) – Week 27

“We need to encourage women who are thinking about taking on leadership roles to disregard that inner voice that sometimes tells us that we need more experience or qualifications.  Be brave, and ask for help when you need it. You have more to offer than you think.”

Angeline Ng (Ontario) – Week 28

“I think that part of the solution may be systemic in being able to first recognize and appreciate the value that women bring to leadership roles, as the foundation for supporting greater opportunities for women, and part of the solution may also be an internal shift in the narrative to encourage more women to pursue these roles.”

Tina Perlman (Ontario) – Week 29

“Become involved and look for opportunities to make a difference because they are everywhere! Build your network so that you will have partners to support you as you progress through your career.”

Ema Paulino (Portugal) – Week 30

“If we look at past and present leaders in pharmacy, we can see that there is a disproportionate number of men occupying leadership positions, in a profession that has a female majority. But individually, I do not let that affect my ambitions, and I feel that my generation has already benefitted from what female leaders have done in the past decades.”

Christine Hrudka (Saskatchewan) – Week 31

“I hope to inspire women to be brave and get themselves at all board tables where decisions are being made.”  

Shelita Dattani (Ontario) – Week 32

“Be open to taking risks and foster your own strong sense of professional identify. Carry that with you everywhere, and let it ground you, no matter which path your career takes. Find your people and build your community of mentors and cheerleaders - we will encircle you and lift you up!”

Annie Greaves (Ontario) – Week 33

“Believe in yourself and your vision for the future. Somebody has to be the first to do something, so why not you?”

Lindsay Dixon (British Columbia) – Week 34

“Pharmacy is ready for change and innovation and your dreams and ideas are an essential contribution to the profession.”

Sayeh Radpay (Ontario) – Week 35

“The persistence and creativity of all these women is paying off. They have illustrated that change is possible and the rest of us need to step up to the challenge.”

Christine Donaldson (Ontario) – Week 36

“Be committed to becoming a selfless promoter of other women whenever you can, to showcase those who you know have the same ambition, depth of knowledge, and strong ability to lead important organizational change.”

Rita Winn (Ontario) – Week 37

“When we teach others and share learnings, we also continue to learn and grow ourselves. This culture helps to improve the profession overall and does help to “raise all boats” to make pharmacy stronger and more resilient.”

Virginia Cirocco (Ontario) – Week 38

“At the beginning, I pretended not to notice when I was the only woman in the room.”

Aska Patel (Ontario) – Week 39

“I truly believe that we, as women, need to first understand and appreciate the leader within us. This often involves introspection and the difficult work of understanding and removing layers of social conditioning from generations of the past.”

Jaspreet Chager (Ontario) – Week 40

“I have a young daughter, and I am hoping once she gets older, she will step into a world where the opportunities for women leaders are endless.”

Kimberly Schroeder (Ontario) – Week 41

“Stop thinking you’re not ready. And support your fellow women in your life and workplace. We can bring each other up and help each other succeed.”

Anisa Shivji (Ontario) – Week 42

“Take the opportunities that excite and challenge you, surround yourself with leaders who inspire you and let yourself grow each day.”

Sandra Leal (United States) – Week 43

“Don’t miss an opportunity to apply for a position because you think you don’t meet all the qualifications. Apply anyways! Too many times we miss opportunities because we underestimate what we have already been doing time and time again.”

Nardine Nakhla (Ontario) – Week 44

“You do not have to carry the title of CEO or manager to lead!”

Lindsay Mildenberger (Saskatchewan) – Week 45

“We need to create a culture that values and respects individual differences.”

Ghada Gabr (Nova Scotia) – Week 46

“We (women) have fought so hard to mark our place in society, and especially in the workplace, for so long. It feels incredible to finally be recognized for our accomplishments and attributions to healthcare and beyond!”

Sarah Dineen-Griffin (Australia) – Week 47

“Mentoring relationships have been important in my professional development, particularly during transitions into new roles and leadership positions.”

Zebrina Kassam (Ontario) – Week 48

“The opportunities are endless. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to grow and develop and don’t limit yourself.”

Barbara De Angelis (Ontario) – Week 49

“Changing attitudes about diversity, equity, and inclusion have been instrumental in providing women increased opportunities in leadership.”

Sepideh Nasafat (Ontario) – Week 50

“I would love to see more women unleash their entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial powers.”

Christina Adams (Ontario) – Week 51

“Take the leap! As women, we often think we need to “tick all the boxes” of the job requirements before applying.”

Rebecca McKillican (Ontario) – Week 52

“Seeing the industry challenging itself to provide better opportunities for women makes me incredibly happy, as it is visible that we are moving towards a more gender-equal world.”

Anastasia Shiamptanis (New Brunswick) – Week 53

“My best advice would be to stay loyal to your core values and follow your passion.”

Annette Robinson (British Columbia) – Week 54

“Don’t be afraid to get involved even if that means stepping outside your comfort zone and consider saying yes to all opportunities no matter how small they may seem.”

Amy Lamb (Saskatchewan) – Week 55

“Knowing your foundations, and honing and practicing your strengths, will guide you towards actualizing a career that could change the world!”

Pavithra Ravi (Ontario) – Week 56

“I think we as women shouldn’t shy away from tooting our own horn.”

Becky Agar (Ontario) – Week 57

“I always believe that there is a way to improve, to optimize and to make things better, regardless of the profession.”

Kimberley Kallio (British Columbia) – Week 58

“We (women) have what it takes. We just need to have the confidence to go for it.”

Krysta Davies Foss (Ontario) – Week 59

“I feel as though I have already started seeing more women in executive positions and leadership roles. The ones I know are excellent role models and champions, and it will be thanks to these women, and the men who stand with them, that the trend keeps shifting to a more equal representation.”

Teresa Pitre (Ontario) – Week 60

“Have big dreams. Don’t create your own glass ceilings. Keep your mind and heart open for opportunities in your every day and every job. Take risks – that’s how you grow.”

Manjiri Gharat (India) – Week 61

“Women must believe in themselves, must be courageous to take and look for opportunities.”

Alicia Matthews-Kent (Ontario) – Week 62

“Figure out what makes you special and own that for all it's worth!”

As we wrap the Women in Leadership series, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each leader who was featured for the valuable insight, knowledge and advice they shared in their stories, which I personally learned a lot from.




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