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As part of our ranking among Working Mother Magazine’s Top 10 companies and among the top 30 for working dads, we selected Dominique Talbert, director Scientific Publications, Medical & Development and Rafael Uribe, Medical Science Liaison, Medical Affairs, US, to serve as our respective Astellas Working Mother and Working Dad of the Year and to represent Astellas at the annual Working Mother Magazine awards ceremony. Hear what they have to say below.
Dominique Talbert, Director Scientific Publications
I’m honored to be Astellas’ Working Mother of the Year. Balancing big career goals with a strong commitment to family is no easy feat, especially as a single parent.
My manager is a mother herself who understands the challenges of balancing career and parenting. She recognizes the need to be flexible when there is a sick child or a parent-teacher conference and she drives that culture of balance within our team. As a manager of a global team, I do the same. I foster an environment where my team knows it’s okay to draw clear boundaries around work and speak openly about family commitments. There’s something special about the Astellas culture and how we work together to support each other personally and professionally. Even as a busy graduate school student, I knew that, no matter what, my then one-year-old son Destin would always come first. I quickly discovered the importance of prioritization and the role it plays in happiness and success. Luckily, I’ve worked for managers, from my dissertation research days through today, who truly support work life balance as a priority, which has helped me juggle a very hectic career as a scientist with my son’s multi-sport schedule.
I also Co-Chair our African American Employee Impact Group (EIG). This is one of seven Astellas EIGs that focus on empowering employees to lead initiatives that promote diversity and inclusiveness in all aspects of our organization. We recently held the “We Are One: Building Solidarity with Black Employees and Beyond Forum” in response to the killing of George Floyd and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the mother of a Black son, I’m happy that Astellas recognizes the essential role our business plays in improving society. Our Forum enabled open dialogue where Black employees could share their unique stories - a critical first step towards improving the lives of employees, patients and community members.
No matter what hat I’m wearing—mom, scientist, manager or EIG co-leader—I strive to model the importance of confidently and honestly communicating my priorities as a parent first in my career.
Rafael Uribe, Medical Science Liaison
Being recognized as Astellas’ Working Dad of the Year is a shared honor. As a proud dad of three, Jennifer, Rafael and Stephanie, and with team members across 13 states, this recognition is shared with both my home and work families. It wouldn’t be possible without their support.
My wife Maria and I have always worked as a team to teach our children self-esteem through good deeds. We show, versus tell, with acceptance, empathy, example and praise. I continuously emphasize to my children the importance of learning from others, so much so that my eldest daughter has my favorite quote, “Remember, it’s better to lose one minute in life, than to lose life in one minute,” framed in her college dorm room. While no family is perfect, we have become a team that values and supports each other as we continue to learn and grow. I have been able to use this same approach at Astellas. When I started at Astellas, it was apparent right away that the company prioritized the needs of working parents. I was immediately encouraged to investigate the seven Employee Impact Groups (EIGs), which focus on establishing diverse and inclusive communities. Proud of my Colombian heritage, I joined the Hispanic EIG where I found a supportive network, opportunities to learn more about the company and the opportunity to share my heritage. Most of all, I found a network of like-minded colleagues, some of them parents, dedicated to helping each other fulfill their professional and personal objectives. My colleagues in the EIG taught me a lot: how to strive to ensure different perspectives are heard; to always find the best solution; and to always be supportive of colleagues. I try to share, listen and accept all ideas so that our team can develop, grow and meet business goals while still living fulfilling lives outside of work.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people, at home and work, who are supportive and inspire me to continue to learn and grow with them. It’s the best recognition for an employee and proud dad.
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