On 31 May, a panel of amazing women discussed key aspects of supporting minority women in the workplace. During the evening session, Catherine Basso, Soomin Park, Ras Viswanadha and Kelly Wiggins-Payne answered questions and shared personal anecdotes of their pathways that have carved who they are today. Stephanie Byrdé, director at Eli Lilly and Co. and programming committee member for HBA Indianapolis, facilitated the question and answer session.
All four women had incredible insight and stories to share. When asked about what strategies they took to become successful, Ras Viswanadha, principal research scientist at Zimmer Biomet, Inc., guided us to “connect with seniors or the HBA to be successful; create your network for support; and look always for people to support you.” Soomin Park, senior director at Eli Lilly and Co., commented on one of the most pressing issues for minority women being the “lack of role models in the organization for support.” Through their answers, this mediated discussion between panelists was an opportunity for minority women to find supportive guidance in navigating their day-to-day challenges. “Give people the power to see who we are and it does not matter where we are coming from,” said Catherine Basso, sr. international marketing manager at Roche.
Kelly Wiggins-Payne, vice president at Eli Lilly and Co., reminded us that “every experience is different and recognizing this is key,” and that we need to work to break down perceptions and ask to get to know other individuals” who are different from us. She also encouraged us to be allies and to help other navigate through the tough issues. This impactful event helped guide individuals and educate others that everyone can take steps to change the dynamic and help support minority women in the workplace.