Florencia Cortese
Florencia Cortese
Recruiting Manager, Global Talent Acquisition

Tomorrow, March 8, is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

We talked to five PRA colleagues around the globe to hear their thoughts:

Florencia02
Florencia Cortese

Florencia Cortese
Recruiting Manager, Global Talent Acquisition
Argentina

What is the most helpful advice/mentorship you received in your career?

Trust your judgement. It is important to listen to other peoples’ / departments’ perspectives, but that does not mean their suggestions need to override our own. Sometimes we can incorporate other person’s feedback into our actions, and by doing that we will all be learning from one another.

What helped you succeed in your career?

My commitment is to my team and the people I work with. My goal has always been to promote a team player attitude within the company, so that no one feels embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. We all have different skills sets and it is very rewarding to see how we can all learn from each other to achieve great results together.

Who is the female you most admire and why?

It is very difficult to pick a name. I would just say that I’m a big fan of all those great women who did not feel afraid to go after their dreams, even when everyone around them thought they were aiming too high. Time and time again women have proven to be strong, resilient individuals who can overcome adversity and work through challenges.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress so that we might see more gender parity for women. What is your hope?

In Argentina – and Latin America in general – gender parity is still very far from being a reality. My hope is that women continue to speak up and raise awareness, so that one day, hopefully not too far from today, we can all live in a world where both men and women have equal parenting rights, equal opportunities to develop themselves professionally, and fair access to a good job in a healthy environment.

What advice would you give young women just starting out in their career?

So many things! First of all, I would tell them never to lose their curiosity and to continue learning. Regardless of how experienced or knowledgeable a person can be in a certain field, there is always so much to discover and learn. The second piece of advice would be do not settle easily, try to raise the bar a bit higher every day and, when you look back, you will notice how far you have come. Last but not least, I would ask them to remain strong and confident in times of difficulties. It may sound like a cliché, but in order to get the best out of oneself, it is oftentimes necessary to go through some uncomfortable storms.

Sarah Liao resize
Sarah Liao

Sarah Liao
Director of Clinical Operations
Taiwan

What is the most helpful advice/mentorship you received in your career?

Every challenge/issue is an opportunity to grow and show our value. Always think how we can do the best and then accept the consequences with smile/peaceful mind.

What helped you succeed in your career?

Supportive family, supervisors, and team members have made my career quite smooth this far and I have deep trust, appreciation, and consideration for others, and I’m open-minded to get their support and understanding. Of course, I also have high expectation and discipline on what I shall do at all positions (personal life and at work).

Who is the female you most admire and why?

Master Cheng Yeng, the founder of Tzu Chi foundation (http://tw.tzuchi.org/en/tzuchi.php) is the female I admire most. She was born at a time in Taiwan that women were less-educated and usually only lived to take care of her own family. Dharma Master Cheng Yen felt that one should expand the love for one’s own family to the entire society and all humanity. She aspired to take care of the great family of humanity, instead of one small family. She also deeply believed that all people are capable of the same great compassion as the Buddha. True compassion, however, is not just having sympathy for another’s suffering—it is to reach out to relieve that suffering with concrete actions. In founding Tzu Chi, Dharma Master Cheng Yen wished to give ordinary citizens the chance to actualize this compassion, which will bring inner peace and happiness to the individual, and pave the way for world peace and harmony. She achieved so much this far not only on Taiwan but around the world. A lot of people (no matter gender, race, country, religion etc.) agree and work along with her to make the world better in their own way.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress so that we might see more gender parity for women. What is your hope?

I hope women can be seen as an important role contributing to family, country, and the world with female unique characteristics besides male.

What advice would you give young women just starting out in their career?

Believe in yourself and do whatever fit you best and make sure to keep healthy, physically and mentally.

Nicole Duffy
Nicole Duffey

Nicole Duffey
Vice President, Strategic Solutions
USA

What is the most helpful advice/mentorship you received in your career?

The most helpful advice I received brought me to the revelation that I can be successful in both my career and as a mother; that they are not mutually exclusive.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress so that we might see more gender parity for women. What is your hope?

Women and men are equal in the workplace – it should be. If we believe it, then it is. Believe it, and carry it forward in your behavior.

What advice would you give young women just starting out in their career?

Be clear and forthright in your communications. Abandon perceived societal expectations that your behaviors or actions should be any different based upon who you are.

Ute Berger PRA 2
Ute Berger, MD

Ute Berger
Senior Vice President – Medical Affairs, Pharmacovigilance and Patient Safety
Germany

What is the most helpful advice/mentorship you received in your career?

I was very fortunate to have a close mentorship in academia by the head of the university hospital I worked at. He was very supportive, but he also challenged me on an ongoing basis, which helped me tremendously in my development. We are still in contact and I’m very grateful for what he did for me.

What helped you succeed in your career?

I went to a girl’s school and was educated in a way that there is nothing women can’t achieve. I strongly believe that my school education in combination with the support of my parents is the basis for my success.

Who is the female you most admire and why?

The woman I admire most is my mother. Without all of her love, her support and her strong believe in me – I would not be where I am today.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress so that we might see more gender parity for women. What is your hope?

Today it is still challenging to have a family and kids and a career. My hope for the generation of my daughter and all the young women in the world is that not only the conditions for flexible childcare further improve but also that working moms are universally accepted.

What advice would you give young women just starting out in their career?

Don’t ever give up and believe in yourself! There is nothing you can’t achieve if you want it.

Mcguire
Mary McGuire

Mary McGuire
Senior Vice President – Global Compliance
USA

What is the most helpful advice/mentorship you received in your career?

From my father: Take a chance on new ideas, paths and people. What’s the worst that can happen? Will the world come to an end?

From my mother: First in all things be a human being. Be compassionate, understanding and sincere and then deal with the problem at hand.

What helped you succeed in your career?

Learning that genuine goodwill is the most transformative force within business. It transforms relationships, perceptions, the willingness to collaborate and the interest in listening to and even trying new ideas.

Who is the female you most admire and why?

Every single woman in the suffragette movement! The ability to vote in our society today reflects the basic human right of self-determination and it astonishes me that we are less than 100 years into this paradigm in the U.S.

My maternal grandmother is a personal hero for me. She was a strong and compassionate woman and did the right thing no matter the personal cost to herself.

This year’s IWD theme is #PressforProgress so that we might see more gender parity for women. What is your hope?

As you can probably tell I’m a big proponent of the societal duty of voting. There will be no parity or progress until women and men vote for the political agendas that support these ideals.

I know you have two daughters—what advice did you give them when starting out in their career?

Besides my mother’s and father’s advice which transcends generations, I also have counseled them throughout their lives to reach out to their teachers, professors, supervisors, co-workers, etc. when they needed help or advice. Everyone likes to feel needed and a personal connection is worth more than all the superbly written recommendations in the world.