Perspectives

Leading Positive Career Development Through Allyship



In November, our Jazz Association of Women Supporters (JAWs) employee-led Affinity Forum hosted an exciting virtual event for our members to discuss allyship for women, and the various actions we can all take to be an ally to advocate for women and their career development.

Participants heard from fellow colleagues during an engaging panel discussion and dynamic networking activity. Approximately 100 people participated in an activation exercise that led to each participant committing to an immediate personal call-to-action statement of how they will be an ally or advocate for women at Jazz. There were countless compelling phrases and thoughts, several that spoke to the importance of listening, supporting, encouraging, speaking up, and engaging. The compilation of these extraordinary actions and best practices will be shared with JAWs members as an important output from the event and utilized in future discussions.

During the panel, Patty Moore VP, R&D Business Strategy and Operations at Jazz told the group about some of her experiences with allies and how she has now translated that into her own advocacy efforts for women. “When I was in my first job out of college, I never really thought about career progression, but there was a leader who advocated for me, he encouraged me to think about my future roles and get out of my comfort zone. Without the support of those types of allies and their proactive mentoring I may have never considered going into a management position, and now I’m committed to paying that forward for others. I know I didn’t get to this phase of my career by myself, so now I’ve embraced allyship by helping people see their potential, and that’s before they may come to me for advice. It is so important to tell someone what their strengths are and help colleagues who may not realize how their skills could translate into other exciting and rewarding roles.”

The group also heard from Gary Philips, Associate Director, Medical Science Liaison for Neuroscience at Jazz and the current Allyship Lead for JAWs. He reminded the audience of the important role allies can play by simply taking the time to listen to others. “As an advocate, listening to others can often be some of the best support you can give. And as a male, one of the other actions I take as an ally, and I ask others to do the same, is to be more conscious of behaviors toward women, either from ourselves or others. We also have to be ready to speak up and find the courage to challenge others when a woman is not being treated fairly and equally in the workplace.”

Our JAWs group is very active at Jazz and meets quarterly to host a dialog with members and discuss important topics we’re all facing in the workplace and drive valuable engagement with colleagues.

At Jazz, our employee resource teams, ConcERTos, provide an opportunity for anyone to be a part of ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are an embedded part of our culture here at Jazz. Our JAWs group is part of the “All Dimensions of Diversity” ConcERTo, or employee-led group with the aim to support intersectionality and inclusive practices across all dimensions, with the purpose of enabling cultural awareness and accelerating allyship within the organization.