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HeForSWE: Perspectives on Allyship Part 2

As a part of the HeForSWE Affinity Group’s spotlight month, the AG highlights professionals and male allies and discusses their perspectives on allyship in STEM.
HeForSWE Affinity Group

As a part of the HeForSWE Affinity Group’s spotlight month, the AG highlights professionals and male allies and discusses their perspectives on allyship in STEM. In this article, we will feature Emily Moran (she/her/hers) and Germaine Hunter (he/him/his).

Emily Moran, SVP of Vector Manufacturing at Center for Breakthrough Medicines

Emily MoranEmily Moran has 18+ years in the biopharmaceutical industry, having served most recently as Head of Viral Vector Manufacturing at Lonza Houston, one of the largest viral vector manufacturing operations in the world. At Lonza, she managed 20+ viral vector programs, resulting in the production of 80+ viral vector batches and subsequent drug product fills at 90%+ success rate including the production of 24+ cell banks and viral banks. Before joining Lonza, Emily spent 14 years focused on GMP commercial manufacturing at Sanofi Pasteur, where she oversaw the production of over 1,500 viral and bacterial biologics batches, 5000+ media and buffers, and 600 commercial fills delivering doses to 240M patients. Emily holds a B.S. from Ursinus College and an MBA from New York Institute of Technology.

Why Is It Important to Invest in a Diverse Workforce in Biopharmaceuticals and Share How You Have Seen That Has Changed Over Your Career?
Representation is incredibly important for current and future employees to provide a sense of belonging and inclusivity, and employing a diverse workforce gives you that opportunity. Additionally, the rich experience and skills that a diverse workforce brings helps companies build efficient processes and ways of working. Diversity in the workforce also provides unique perspectives that strengthen the culture and depth of empathy. A strong culture starts with humility and a sense of vulnerability, none of which can come without a better understanding of life and perspective of others. Throughout my career, I have seen more diversity in each one of my companies, top to bottom, but have seen the largest changes in upper management; there is much more diversity regarding gender, race, and socioeconomic statuses.

What Does Allyship Mean to You?
Allyship means understanding the unique perspectives of individuals and expressing humility regarding what you do and do not understand. Then, working every day to close gaps and ensure equal and fair representation for all folks. Ensuring the work and professional environment is accommodating as much as possible to allow everyone’s voice to be heard.

What Advice Would You Recommend to Your Male Counterparts or Team Members on How to Be an Ally and Support Inclusion of Women in the STEM Industries?

  • Do I consciously create a workplace that is accommodating to a diverse team? Can I do more?
  • Do I promote and facilitate discussions where all voices are heard? Why or Why not? What can I do to increase that?
  • Understand the lens each person looks through. Are you empathetic (within reason) to a diverse team?

Germaine Hunter, Chief Diversity Officer, GE Aerospace

Germaine HunterGermaine Hunter is the Chief Diversity Officer for GE Aerospace. New to this role as of April 2023, Germaine is responsible for establishing and leading the global enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, strategy, and vision. Additionally, he serves as the spokesperson and champion of GE Aerospace’s DEI initiatives both within the organization and within the external business community. Before joining GE Aerospace, Germaine served as the Chief Diversity Executive and Talent Acquisition Leader for Marathon Petroleum, advising senior management and the board of directors on the company’s inclusion strategy, employment-branding initiatives, external partnerships, and equitable business practices. Prior to Marathon, Germaine spent more than 20 years working in the consumer-packaged goods industry across several general management assignments. He began his work in the diversity space at The Clorox Company, where he built a robust, fully integrated DEI playbook and was instrumental in crafting strategies and plans that significantly increased the representation of women and people of color across the company’s global operations. He holds a MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Georgetown University.

What Does Allyship Mean to You?
Allyship is one of the greatest gifts that we can offer to a friend or colleague. In essence, allyship is about stepping back from our individual perspectives to consider how we can stand in support of someone else. Allyship requires empathy, humility, and strength of purpose.

What Has Driven and Inspired You to Want to Advocate and Support and Become Vocal Advocates for Women and Other Minorities in the STEM Field?
I believe deeply that any organization is made stronger by leveraging the unique perspectives, skills, and experiences of each part of a community. For far too long, the voices of underrepresented groups have not been adequately considered within the STEM community. I think that we have an opportunity to expand the impact of ALL people working in STEM fields by advocating for those whose voices can and should be amplified.

How Do You Cultivate Conversations in the Professional Environment About Diversity and Inclusion?
First and foremost, great DEI conversations always start from a position of humility. Unlike other disciplines, there are few universally “right” or “wrong” answers when it comes to diversity and inclusion. As such, cultivating conversations in professional environments requires participants to have an open mind and a willingness to consider different points of view.

Can You Give an Example of a Time You’ve Implemented Allyship Actions in Your Workplace?
The best examples of allyship in the workplace that I’ve observed occur when individuals leverage their unique skills and talents in service of others. For example, I’ve been blown away by the willingness of our Veterans Network employees to invest in the growth of our other employee resource groups.

How Does Allyship and Inclusion Look in Different Companies or Business Segments? What Are Some Common Themes?
At its best, allyship is organic, and it occurs in the normal flow of business. But, a common element of great allyship is the willingness of individuals to freely give of their time and talents in service of others. In many ways, the willingness to selflessly invest in the growth and development of others is the foundation of a strong and vibrant organizational culture.

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