The following post contains soundbites from MM&M’s inaugural Plus One event, an evening of candid conversations designed to inspire change and champion diversity in healthcare. While the industry is known for being predominantly white, the attendees were from diverse backgrounds and various professional levels, from president/C-suite member to account exec.
Editor’s note: The following quotes were either approved by participants or cited anonymously.
“I’m very early in my career, and I’m excited to find a way to be a good partner in creating that change in culture. I want to create a space where everybody feels welcome to be themselves and see that future and opportunity.” – Sarah Robinson
“How could it be white dudes decide what’s great for everyone in this country? That’s insane.” – anonymous
“The advertising industry is one of the least diverse industries, particularly among creative directors.” – anonymous
“When you look at pharma, especially at the senior level, it used to be an all-white boys’ club, but I think it’s changing.” – anonymous
“I’ve been to places where there have been maybe three or four of us, but the president of the company can’t distinguish the difference between us and calls us by each other’s name. There are places where I know I’m never going to connect.” – anonymous
“When I think of stereotypes in advertising, others may speak ‘passionately,’ but being a black woman, I may be considered ‘aggressive’ [if I speak the same way].” – Monica Gaddy
“What attracted me to this topic was sitting in the boardroom and not seeing anyone that looked like me, representing my point of view or the patients that we serve.” – Tayla Mahmud
“If you’re in meetings and it’s all men, you may struggle to represent your point of view openly or honestly because you may feel there’s bias in the room.” – anonymous
“A group cannot be high-performing unless it’s diverse.” – anonymous
“I was blessed to have a seat at the board table, and I know the struggles I went through to get there. I want to help others as well.” – Cheri Roseborough
“I’m always amazed that when you get to that senior level it seems to be not diverse. I want to be the agent of change.” – Mary Kate Hallahan
“People will hire and promote people like them, because it’s easy to coach someone like them. It’s not easy to coach somebody whom you have to stretch yourself to understand.” – Funmi Olosunde