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Astellas was recently ranked in Seramount’s 2022 list of 100 Best Companies and Best Companies for Dads highlighting our commitment to creating a workplace where working parents are valued and supported. We are proud to recognize Angelica Medley, associate director, Global Market Access Excellence, and Brad Mickey, associate director, Manufacturing, Astellas Gene Therapies, as our 2022 Working Parents of the Year. Below they share insights on their working parent tips and how Astellas has supported their working parent journeys.
Astellas Working Parent of the Year: Angelica Medley, associate director, Global Market Access Excellence
During my past 10 years at Astellas, I have felt valued as a working mom, not just for the skills that I bring to the job but as a whole person who contributes to my community. I also served as co-chair of our Astellas Hispanic Employee Impact Group. My experience as a co-chair gave me the opportunity to build many transferable skills, in particular, people leadership skills. It gave me an opportunity to focus my efforts on inspiring the leadership team to explore new ideas and support the execution of strategies and tactics. I learned that when supported, our people have the best and most innovative ideas that can have the greatest impact on our culture and business.
Astellas has always provided me the opportunity for continuous growth, including supporting my career aspirations to receive my MBA. I’m grateful I took advantage of Astellas’ tuition reimbursement program, which was a huge burden off our family’s budget. When I set this goal for myself, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy – working a full-time job, attending class, completing assignments, all while trying to keep up with my three children under the age of 10 at the time. However, I knew it was achievable.
My coworkers, and specifically my manager, were extremely supportive while I was receiving my MBA. They checked in on me regularly, asked how things were going, and how they could support me and my work – inspiring me to continue to persevere and keep moving forward. My family was also instrumental. My husband and children picked up a lot of the slack and, oftentimes, would encourage me, saying, “You can do this. We've got your back, Mom. It's hard but it'll be over soon.” Those words of encouragement, in combination with the support from Astellas, allowed me to successfully complete my MBA while working full-time and helping raise three children.
Completing the MBA program also had a positive impact on my parenting approach. I learned the importance of self-advocating and how to ask for help when needed. I’m thankful I was able to lean on my husband, my children, my sisters, my parents, and my coworkers throughout the process to ask for help. Now, I ask my children to do the same for themselves: to self-advocate and raise their hand to ask for help when they need it.
When it came to supporting my kids through their education while managing mine, we created a routine. I cherished the nights when we would sit at the dining room table as a family and do our schoolwork together. I was able to set the example for my children that even their mom was completing her homework. It was important to me to be that mentor for my children and show them that if you set your mind to something, you can pursue and achieve your dreams – regardless of what obstacles may stand in your way.
There is nothing more rewarding then being a mother to three incredible children and I am grateful Astellas allows me the flexibility to be present and available in my kids’ lives each day - always putting family first.
Astellas Working Parent of the Year: Brad Mickey, associate director, Manufacturing, Astellas Gene Therapies
Every morning I walk into my daughter’s room, and she asks me, “are you going to work today, Daddy?” My children have come to learn that my attire indicates whether I am headed into the office. The simple act of throwing on a t-shirt in the morning results in three smiling faces because my children know I’ll be at home for the day.
Astellas understands that working parents have commitments inside and outside of the office. Working within a startup facility and raising three kids, I find my day filled with responsibilities. The demands fluctuate, but I rarely find myself without a task that needs attention. I’m grateful Astellas offers robust benefits for working parents such as paid time off, volunteer days, and parent teacher conference days. When you blend them together with compassionate leadership, you find yourself working in an environment that’s attractive to working parents.
I lost my own father early in my career. Such an experience is tough to express in words, however, it helped me recognize the importance of family. I also learned to value every day, understanding its true capacity. My children are at the age where they look up to their parents, and they are always watching. I want to do everything I can with the time I have to foster the right behaviors. The best I can do is show them these behaviors through my own actions.
As I have grown in my career and as a father, I have found a new appreciation in the power of perspective. Your mood can instantly impact others around you, whether it’s with your colleagues at work or your family. Therefore, I strive to keep an open and optimistic mindset to create a positive work and home environment. When I propose a new task whether at work or with my kids, I do so with a positive and eager attitude. Through this approach, I hope to empower and build the confidence necessary to tackle the task.
At Astellas, our leadership team is dedicated to creating a culture of openness that promotes work life balance. Employees are encouraged to help one another, maintain a positive outlook, and seek opportunities that aid in their development. We also work in a culture where we feel comfortable sharing our experiences as working parents with one another. Not only does this openness build relationships but it also helps build confidence in ourselves.
At Astellas employees not only enjoy coming to work, but also feel comfortable disconnecting to focus on their personal lives outside of work. This is an important balance that is essential for success. As a leader, I hope to grow my team, as well as myself, by embracing and expanding these values in the workplace.
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