Feature Stories

Celebrating the Women of Astellas on International Women’s Day

Apr 17, 2018

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, Astellas’ Stellar Women Employee Resource Group (ERG) hosted two-day members-only events at its Northbrook headquarters honoring the achievements and contributions of women at Astellas. More than 135 Stellar Women members attended the presentations and discussions focused on supporting their own leadership and career development.

The events kicked off on March 7 with "Meet the Women of Astellas,” a panel discussion featuring senior leaders from across the company. The panelists, which included Shontelle Dodson, senior vice president and head of Medical Affairs, Americas; Lynn Gerber, vice president, PCP Specialty Hospital Sales; Cassie Hogenkamp, executive director, Operational Excellence, Corporate Strategy and Planning; and Caroline Walkinshaw, executive director, Market Intelligence and Analytics, shared their personal career experiences and the challenges they overcame building these careers while balancing their lives outside of work. Remote employees were able to participate through a virtual session.

"Be true to yourself and what's important to you," offered Dodson. "It's important to be a continual learner and take charge of your career so that you can better prepare yourself for open doors."

The following day, Stellar Women members participated in a series of discussions with topics including successful networking for young professionals, gender partnership to support skills and talent, and work-life balance organizational tips for working parents. In addition, Human Resources led a discussion about the resources available in the StarLIFE Family Care Giving program to support employees in taking care of children and aging parents and understanding the care-giving cycle.

Throughout the events, attendees gained insights on how to grow their skills and enjoyed the opportunity to meet other women across the organization with similar goals. During lunch on March 8, employees had the opportunity to engage with each ERG during cross-cultural and informational booths, celebrating the multi-faceted women in all of Astellas' ERGs.

"The discussion around gender partnership and unconscious bias and privilege was eye-opening, especially as the group shared personal stories," said Stellar Women member Rachel Mather. "Overall, I enjoyed the camaraderie, networking and great advice around careful career choices to support a balanced work life."