Every year on February 11th the world celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
While more girls are attending school than before, they are still significantly under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) subjects in many parts of the world; today, statistics show that only 30% of scientific and technology researchers are women2.
Science is the backbone of our business, and Ferring would not be where it is today without the contributions of Eva Paulsen, co-founder of Ferring, who would have turned 100 in 2018.
A brilliant scientist, she graduated in civil engineering in 1942 with chemistry as her specialty. Together with her husband and co-founder Dr Frederik Paulsen, she then went on to develop the peptide technologies on which Ferring was built. She was also behind the development of the heartburn medication Gaviscon® and Ferring market-leading IBD treatments.
As Chairman of Ferring S/A, she was much respected for her pioneering spirit, ethical principles and great commitment to people-centred science. In celebrating her past contributions to science and to Ferring, we also aim to celebrate and inspire our current and future scientists, many of whom are women with the same commitment to helping people live better lives through science.
2The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); UIS is the UN depository for global statistics in the fields of education, science and technology, culture and communication.
Marianne Kock, Managing Director IPC and Senior VP, Global Regulatory Affairs
“At high school I loved chemistry. I went on to study chemical engineering and pharmacy, and then chose to focus on pharmacy... If Eva Paulsen were alive today she would be pleased to see many women in managerial roles, but she’d say we still have more work to do especially in top management. I think women tend to approach problems differently, we come with a different culture and mindset. Ultimately decision-making is much better with diversity.”
Mirjam Mol-Arts, Senior VP, Global Development
“As a medical doctor my primary interest has always been finding new solutions for patients – to cure them or help them live better lives. A more balanced representation of both men and women in science can only strengthen our ability to discover and develop these new treatments. Much has improved over the years for women in science – we are very well represented in Ferring.”
Tamara Vukmirovic, VP, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, CMC
“When I started out, I thought that working on the pharmacy side was a good way to make a difference. I began as a student at Ferring in Global Regulatory Affairs and have been here ever since. On CSR – my favourite example is CHAMPION – making a life-saving drug available to women in developing countries. Additionally, it would be great to see more young girls, who may not have privilege or the resources to flourish, becoming scientists so they can make a difference one day.”
Elinor Erez, Associate VP, Head of Biotech Development-BTG, Global Pharmaceutical R&D (GPRD)
“I was first inspired by science at 19 years old when James Watson came to our University to present his work on the discovery of DNA. It was then that I realised what an impact science can make on the world. I became motivated to make a difference as well. I started at Ferring-BTG in 2010 as a young Research Scientist. Today I head the GPRD function in BTG and work with my team to ensure the products we deliver will create better health solutions for the world.”