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DIA 2021 Global Annual Meeting

The Ultimate Collaboration: Diversity, Inclusion and Professional Development

Session Chair(s)

Cynthia  Morris

Cynthia Morris

  • Owner
  • Morris LLC, United States
The corporate setting is not the place to have open conversations about heavy issues. It is a place to keep everything nice and polite, to focus on the work, move corporate objectives forward, analyze metrics, and above all- avoid controversy and keep one’s head down. Diversity and Inclusion has challenged this tradition of “don’t rock the boat” in a way that is as yet unresolved. Thankfully there is a constant theme running through most official corporate value statements: a commitment to achieving diversity and inclusion both in the corporate ranks as well as in clinical trials. That said, many of us are flying blind, well intended but not sure how to proceed, what to say or not say. Miss steps are frighteningly easy to make. Tensions are high. So the default is to say nothing at all. Silence is not necessarily a bad thing in many cases, but nor does it actively help us evolve towards greater collaboration in these challenging times. Unfortunately this session does not provide the answers, but it does provide a dialog. Cynthia Morris and Sheila Mahoney have been professional colleagues for over 20 years. Operating in a regulatory operations capacity, each reporting into different organizations, they collaborated on hundreds of submissions to health authorities all over the world. This collaboration included coordination of various teams, many different organizations, relatively high budgets, and extremely tight timelines. The sailing has not always been smooth. Project issues happen. In fact one could argue that in pharma, almost no project is entirely predictable or easy to achieve. And yet together, they found a way to create value for their organizations and the patients we all serve, while learning from each other in countless ways. This session is their open and honest conversation about diversity and inclusion. This is dialog we wish everyone in the corporate setting could have, but are unable to for a million reasons. At the end of the day, the corporate objective is not social change. It is and always will be profit. But against that backdrop we can unify in unprecedented ways to collaborate for mutual interest. This is not a hope for distant future, it is a reality we all live in right now. Collaboration is the only way forward. Come explore with us!
Learning Objective : Descrbe an unusually open and honest dialog about diversity and inclusion; Discuss new insights and perspectives that may be otherwise accessible; Gain confidence about the topic of diversity and inclusion.


Sheila  Mahoney Jewels, MBA


Sheila Mahoney Jewels, MBA

  • Small Business Innovation and Aggregator Advocate
  • LifeSciHub , United States