Feature Stories

Inspiring Success in the Next Generation of Women Business Leaders

Jul 18, 2016

It’s no secret that an organization’s success depends upon its ability to embrace diversity. By having employees who reflect the world around us, we’re able to leverage a wealth of different ideas and experiences that drive innovation, reveal new insights and make our company increasingly collaborative, inclusive and competitive. But it’s not enough simply to understand the importance of diversity—it has to be an integral part of our business strategy and embedded into our goals as a company to really make an impact.

As we continue the discussion around creating a more inclusive, equal and balanced society, putting a spotlight on women and empowering them to embrace their role in this kind of society is key. The Women in Action 2016 initiative demonstrated our commitment to this fact. This cutting edge global conference delivered on its promise to connect the women of Astellas and teenage girls to inspire leadership and confidence to lead their best lives, overcome challenges and succeed by making meaningful contributions that improve the global society. Attendees at the event heard inspirational stories from a number of transcendent female speakers including Malala Yousafzai, Robin Roberts, Ronda Rousey and Amy Cuddy. We truly believe that this event empowered attendees to enhance their leadership skills, share their experiences in the workplace and to develop lasting mentoring relationships.

But we know that workplace equality is critical for everyone. That’s why we invited representatives from other pharmaceutical companies to join us for this event. This was so important because we know that we’ll never be able to create a gender-equal world if only a few of us are part of the discussion. It’s going to take all of us to do what’s necessary to give the next generation of women in business the knowledge they need to succeed.

At Astellas, we take our commitment to female empowerment seriously, and we’re putting resources behind our commitments. We have a number of company-wide programs, benefits and tools that have enabled us to develop a diverse and talented workforce and to ensure that the recruitment, retention, and development of women are a top priority. We’ve also established our Stellar Girls program, which introduces young girls to big ideas in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Our profound commitment to diversity and inclusion has been recognized by several organizations, including Diversity Inc., Forbes Magazine, Working Mother and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's (HRC) annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI). We want to drive momentum for change, and this is just the start. We know corporate America can do more, and we are.

Through this event and our other initiatives, we hope to empower women to find their own voice and be confident in their careers. We have set out to take meaningful steps to inspire change for the future by encouraging young women to be that change—to ultimately connect, inspire and succeed as Women in Action.