By Silvia De Dominicis, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies Italy
My favorite film has always been Dead Poet’s Society. The quote, "Words and ideas can change the world" made a resounding impression on me.
The word ‘empowerment’, has, over recent years, become associated with female accomplishment and for this year’s International Women’s Day I want to highlight what we have achieved as a movement with empowerment as it’s banner.
I have watched as the empowerment of women has grown and the world of business has benefitted from new generations of innovative, bold, brave and diverse women. But it is not just a matter of female empowerment, it’s about identifying and advancing diverse talent having an impact on our society and in changing the trajectory of human health. It is about creating change towards diversity and inclusion, and we can still do a lot to create an equal and positive environment.
Johnson & Johnson has been championing women since our founding. Women played a significant role in starting the Company in 1886 with 8 of the first ever 14 employees being women. Throughout the past 133 years, there has been an ongoing commitment to the empowerment of women.
I started my career at Johnson & Johnson in 1995 as a Finance Manager and until then all managers in Finance had been male. I found myself in a meeting with one of my new male colleagues who looked at me and said, “So you are the new manager, but” – and I remember the BUT – “you are a woman”. I realized then that I was a ‘first’ and that this would mean I’d need the endurance to carve out my own career path as a woman rather than simply follow in the footsteps of others.
I can say with great pleasure that I have seen an astounding change since then, not just in the appointment of women to such roles but in the attitudes of our society. We are working towards a better-balanced tomorrow and I hope to see the same changes I have witnessed in my Company become active in all organizations around the world.
To find more how Johnson & Johnson are bold raising the banner of empowerment for women visit www.jnj.com/empowering-women