Laura Coyle, Lundbeck, District Manager
Why is it so important to ensure that inclusion and diversity remain high on the agenda?
Because people very easily get fatigued hearing about it. They feel like it doesn’t affect them directly so get bored of hearing about it. A good example is the gender pay gap review in the UK. It has been talked about so much now it is becoming accepted and seems to have lost the shock factor it should still have. Things are not improving as fast as they should, and it affects every single one of us. I want my daughters, friends, parents, my team to all work in an inclusive environment. A place where they are empowered to be themselves and where they are paid fairly and equally for the work they do.
What inspired you to set up the Lundbeck UK Diversity Project?
Throughout my career I had worked in a male dominated environment. There were no female role models and very little room for thinking differently. It could be hugely frustrating and upsetting but I mostly kept quiet and got on with it. In 2015 we had a large company restructure, I gained a new team of mostly females and I had two amazing daughters at home. I realised then that as a leader and a mother I owed it to my team and my children to expect better for them. With this passion and a determination to create change I was lucky enough to have also gained a new manager who gave me the support I needed and empowered me to create the first Diversity Project and make big things happen.
What impact has your work as a volunteer with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) had?
It gave me the evidence base, the tools, the confidence and a close supportive network to be able to challenge the status quo within my company and the industry. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have done without the learns from the HBA.
What do you hope 2020 and beyond will bring for Lundbeck with regard to gender equality?
2020 is an exciting year for Lundbeck as we have created our first Global Diversity and Inclusion Work group. The group has 30 talented, innovative people who have a passion for creating an inclusive, diverse workplace so I am looking forward to seeing what great ideas for progress and change develop from it. Going past 2020 my hopes are that Diversity and Inclusion moves from being a ‘group’ or set of initiatives. To really make progress it has to become a part of our being. It needs to stream through our thoughts and processes naturally. We should all embrace diversity of thought and always work hard to be inclusive to make Lundbeck a really great place to work.
What has been your proudest professional achievement so far?
I would have to say two things. Creating and implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Project within Lundbeck and most recently the Gender Pay Gap Review. Both projects were hugely challenging in so many ways, but to be trusted and empowered to take on such ideas for change within your working environment was fantastic. I know they will make and have made direct and tangible changes for the better for employees within Lundbeck and for that I am so proud.