International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2021

This year the theme of International Women’s Day on March 8th is #Choosetochallenge – encouraging people to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.

Inequality in the workplace is still, in some areas and markets, sadly still apparent. Here at Covance, Leeds we are encouraging all our team to show their support and raise their hands to show they’re in. 

Gender inequality simply should no longer be an issue but whilst unfortunately it still exists we need to make sure that everyone is confident to call it out if they do feel it is happening in their place of work.

At Covance we are a diverse team and that is why, we believe, we work well. Different experiences make more informed decisions. Our unit is led by Heather Davis who is passionate about all the team having opportunities in their work life to thrive and best suit their life choices.

One valued team member is Syeda Lipi Begum who works in Good Manufacturing Practice Quality Assurance at Covance – in short this is the pharmaceutical manufacturing part of the business. Syeda is making sure the necessary systems and process are in place to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of the drug we manufacture

Syeda has worked at Covance since graduating in 2006. Coming from a traditional Asian background, her ambition to follow a career in science was not really the norm for a young girl. However encouraged by her parents, she decided to keep on doing what she enjoyed and went to University in Bradford to study for a BSC in Pharmaceutical Management. Following her graduation she joined Covance.

She initially joined the company as a Pharmacy Technical Assistant. During this time she completed a qualification in Pharmacy Services, so that she could register as a Pharmacy Technician.

Syeda said: “I can’t quite believe I have been with Covance nearly 15 years now! When I started, I was not entirely convinced that I was going to work in this area for the long term, but I soon became aware of the support and encouragement Covance gives its employees.

“I have been fortunate to work in a company where gender inequality simply does not exist. There are women in all levels within Covance. Women in leadership positions alongside male colleagues is the norm.

“I don’t doubt gender inequality is still active in other areas of work. Everyone needs to #choosetochallenge and stand up to it if they see it happening. If we stay quiet it will carry on. I am proud to support International Women’s Day.”

Syeda’s role today within Covance’s has evolved and she is currently in the process of qualifying to become a QP (Qualified Person). This is a person who is responsible for certifying batches of drug product before it can be released for use. Syeda has been encouraged and supported by Covance throughout this training.