Today is International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In celebration of this momentous day, we reached out to a few of the women in our senior leadership team to discover what this year’s theme, ‘embrace equity’, means to them.

Christine Dalzell, Global Managing Director:
I come from a long line of sassy women (currently raising one as well) and I am so thankful for the drive they have instilled in me; the pathways to opportunity they and their peers created for me.

We must all channel our energy and passion to provide that helping hand to other women and all who have experienced inequity and been marginalized for being their authentic selves. As a united force, we can raise our voices and change the world. Unstoppable.

Katy Irving, Global Head of Behavioural Science:
This Women’s Day there is so much to celebrate at HRW: a company led by strong women that champions diversity and opportunity for all genders in our team as well as in our samples for research.

But there’s still so much to do to achieve true equity for women around the world; bias, discrimination, and stereotyping still disproportionately impact girls, women, and trans people. Today and every day I’m proud to recognise women’s achievements and call out inequality.

Marianne Ibrahim, Director:
On this International Women’s Day, I’m filled with pride as I reflect on all the major strides made to ensure women’s voices are heard and represented in all aspects of our day to day to life.

As a woman of colour, I am blessed to enjoy an inclusive work culture at HRW. However, I am well aware that not all women of colour are having the same positive experience. There is still a lot to be done to ensure the voices of women of different ethnic backgrounds are represented in our communities and in the workplace.  One of these areas is clinical trial diversity, an area that means a lot to me personally, as a woman of colour working in the healthcare sector and as someone who is equally interested in functional medicine and nutrition.

Despite all the major strides made recently in clinical trial diversity, women in general, and those of different ethnic backgrounds, age groups and menopausal statuses, are still underrepresented in clinical trials, whether for pharmaceutical molecules or nutrition and wellness interventions.

And I’m sure many would agree that in 2023, It is no longer acceptable to ignore the intricacies of female biology and assume that women will have the same response to a clinical intervention as men. The most recent and simple example that brought this point very clearly to light, is how men and women might have different responses to the same intermittent fasting protocol. While most men might thrive on a strict intermittent fasting or even one meal per day protocol, many women experienced adverse effects and hormonal imbalances in response to the same protocol. Let alone how women in different age groups, ethnic backgrounds and with different menopausal statuses would respond to different interventions!

On this IWD, I wish to see the positive momentum on clinical trial diversity grow. And I hope that by this time next year, I might be able to reflect on all the positive steps made to grant women their simple right of receiving medicines and clinical interventions tested on their own biology.

Happy International Women’s day everyone!

Catherine Harwood, Senior Director:
The theme of this year’s IWD is #EmbraceEquity which resonates with me as a critical philosophy if we are to take a global step forward in inclusivity and true fairness when it comes to gender, social, wealth, and health disparities.

Whilst I am proud and privileged to work for an amazing female-led company full of strong women and role-models, the efforts of both IWD and UN Women to campaign to address the disproportionate impact of poverty, climate change, and violence against women globally feel more important than ever.

In a world where women and girls remain under-represented everywhere from schooling through to government leadership positions, and under-recognised economically due to persistent pay gaps and lack of affordable childcare, it is exciting to see women worldwide campaigning for change- for example, Wellbeing of Women’s drive for positive action in the workplace for those experiencing the menopause: or Pregnant Then Screwed’s campaigning for fair maternity conditions, flexible working, and access to childcare.


By Christine Dalzell, Katy Irving, Marianne Ibrahim and Catherine Harwood


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