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The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science is pleased to invite the community to this spring’s Distinguished Speaker Series event featuring

International Business Leader

Dr. Phaedria Marie St. Hilaire

Harnessing the Potential of Diversity and Gender Equality in Business

About the talk:

Diversity is good business.

Research shows that large companies with gender diverse leadership teams are 25% more likely to outperform their non-diverse industry peers financially. That number rises to 36% for ethnically diverse teams.

Yet in 2024, there remains a gender gap in fields like science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in leadership roles and in economic empowerment.

On average, women form only 25% of workers in engineering and artificial Intelligence, fields that are driving the fourth industrial revolution.

Men also outnumber women board members at a rate of three to one, and women continue to pay a “motherhood” penalty that negatively impacts their earnings and employment.

Recently in North America, instead of embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, it appears a backlash has arisen, with some prominent businessmen proclaiming “DEI must DIE”.

Could there be a ripple effect in business across the globe?

In this talk, Dr. St. Hilaire will present the state of DEI in 2024, and offer tips to ensure diversity and gender balance initiatives are effective and beneficial to all of society.

About the speaker:

Dr. Phaedria Marie St. Hilaire is an international business leader with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She has held leadership positions at global companies like Carlsberg Group and Novo Nordisk, and is the founder of a non-profit group called ProWoC, or the Professional Women of Colour Network in Denmark.

Originally from Dominica, Dr. St. Hilaire is known for inspiring and driving cross-functional, multicultural teams to deliver results.

In addition to holding a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Duke University in the United States, Dr. St. Hilaire holds a degree in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School.

A skilled public speaker and storyteller, Dr. St. Hilaire is passionate about diversity, inclusion and belonging, and changing the gender and race narrative.