The Women in Science and Leadership mentoring initiative forms part of the AstraZeneca Exchange programme, supporting innovation and collaboration among diverse stakeholders in life sciences clusters around the company’s three global strategic R&D hubs
The collaboration is the latest partnership in AstraZeneca’s programme of inspiring and supporting careers in STEM through volunteering out-reach initiatives and mentoring across the Cambridge community.
As part of the collaboration, AstraZeneca employees will mentor Lucy Cavendish College students, supporting their scientific projects as well as career and personal development. The mentors will provide advice and insights on career and work placement opportunities in the life sciences sector generally and in the biopharmaceutical industry specifically, including at AstraZeneca’s global hub in Cambridge. A successful ‘speed mentoring’ pilot event has already taken place and a series of group as well as individual mentoring programmes are being planned.
A lecture programme promoting Women in Science and Leadership will also be held during the year.
AstraZeneca and MedImmune currently have a pool of around 70 employees from a wide variety of specialisms and disciplines who are volunteering as mentors to share their expertise and experience with partner organisations across the vibrant Cambridge life sciences eco-system.
Commenting on the collaboration, Shaun Grady, Vice President of Global Business Development, said: “Mentoring is not only a fantastic way to support talented individuals who benefit from the shared expertise and experience, but it is also a great way for mentors to ‘give back’ while developing their leadership skills. We’re pleased to have mentored numerous entrepreneurs emerging from the Judge Business School Accelerate and Pitch@Palace programmes, and we recently announced a partnership supporting start-up companies at the Babraham Research Campus incubator. Our new collaboration with Lucy Cavendish College is a natural extension of our partnership network and offers a great model for how we might work with other colleges in Cambridge. It’s very exciting to be working with such a high calibre group of inspirational women studying in what is a uniquely supportive environment”.
Jackie Ashley, President, Lucy Cavendish College, said: “Relatively few women embark on careers in science, and we want to ensure that there are as few barriers as possible for women who have the potential to be successful in this field. Our partnership with AstraZeneca aims to tackle this issue head on, with exciting initiatives for our enthusiastic students, including mentoring, careers advice and personal development for those interested in having a scientific career. We look forward to working with AstraZeneca on this exciting new venture.”
Image: L-R: Shaun Grady, Vice-President, Business Development Operations and a mentor; Emma Barton, Alliance and Integration Management Director and a mentor; Bethany Haworth, student and mentee at Lucy Cavendish College; Jo Ryan, Development Director at Lucy Cavendish College