Girls Take Over: AstraZeneca Thailand shows commitment to gender equality and female representation

Bangkok, Thailand – In celebration of International Day of the Girl, AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme (YHP) virtually joins the global #GirlsTakeOver activity, a Plan International initiative, to promote inclusion and draw attention to the obstacles faced by young women in Thailand. As a science-led company, AstraZeneca is passionate about inspiring and advancing the next generation of women. To commemorate the day, AstraZeneca leaders will step aside from their senior leadership roles to give girls from Bangkok a unique opportunity to lead for the day. In Thailand, there is a takeover activity set in the theme of Leading Women in Science, Innovation, Technology and Development, to generate business case solving and sharing experiences and reflections.

The #GirlsTakeOver activity is a part of the #GirlsBelongHere campaign, a global initiative held simultaneously in countries around the world each year. Through the campaign, Plan International Thailand and partners advocate and endorse gender equality, and highlight the barriers girls face from reaching their full potential.

James Teague, Country President, AstraZeneca (Thailand) Ltd., said: The aim of this event is to create an environment where we start to remove workplace bias and create opportunities to be a part of decision-making processes, stepping into leadership roles of the business for the theme of “Women in Science, Innovation, Technology and Development”. We can inspire our future leaders. The leadership opportunities should have no gender and at the same time build an understanding of the important work Science and technology has on our society.

On October 11, 2021, eleven girls from AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme joined the AstraZeneca team to participate in a series of meetings and workshops with AstraZeneca Thailand female executives to experience first-hand what it’s like to be an AstraZeneca leader. The Thailand takeover took place alongside events in more than twenty AstraZeneca country offices around the world including Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and many more.  

Gender is a key determinant of health, and gender inequality leads to health risks for women and girls. According to the 2019 non communicable disease (NCD) report from the NCD division, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, there is an increase in the frequency of diabetes patients to 29%, which is 820,000 people, and the number was higher in females than males.1 The statistic has shown the need and importance of promoting physical activity and healthy eating for the excellent health and well-being of women and girls. The influence of society, culture or tradition can influence and impact health choices, health-seeking behaviours and health outcomes for women and girls. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing barriers; measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have forced young women out of school, many of whom may never return to the classroom. Creating education and employment opportunities, like the #GirlsBelongHere takeovers, can lead to positive health outcomes for girls and young women.

Srida Tanta-atipanit, Ph.D., Managing Director of Internet Foundation for the Development of Thailand, said:  A great leader does not lead by forcing people to follow. Instead, a great leader motivates people and encourages others to follow them and lead by example. Therefore, a great leader should have self-confidence, determination, and empathy.

Three female country leadership members from AstraZeneca Thailand were coaches for eleven girls taking over their positions, including Pitthaporn Chotikanokrat, Head of Market Access and Government Affairs, Tanika Pannoppa, Business Unit Director- Oncology, and Chittra Theerachai, Head of Human Resources. The coaches provided explanations about their roles before giving specific tasks for the girls to work on as a part of taking over. The girlls were also provided advice on the attitude and skills needed as a female leader, including leadership, teamwork and decision making, before opening for questions and answers from the girls, inspired by the female leaders. Eleven girls from Young Health Programme have learnt from the experiences of all the coaches on the importance of girls’ rights and how to address the challenges and discrimination girls face in Science, Innovation, Technology and Development.

Further information about AstraZeneca’s #GirlsTakeOver campaign can be found here: https://www.younghealthprogrammeyhp.com/young-leaders/girls-belong-here.html

About AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme:

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme (YHP) is a global disease prevention programme with a unique focus on young people aged 10 to 24, living in vulnerable environments and under-resourced settings around the world. The YHP aims to prevent the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and mental ill health.

Delivered in partnership with Plan International and UNICEF and informed by research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it has reached more than 30 countries and 12 million youth with information about NCD risk behaviours.  The YHP aims to support the development of protective environments and empower young people to make informed choices about their health.  A holistic and integrated programme, it combines community programmes, research and advocacy and supports the development of young leaders. The YHP is part of AstraZeneca’s sustainability commitment to use our capabilities to make the most meaningful impact where society needs it - health.

To learn more about the Young Health Programme, please visit yhp.astrazeneca.com

AstraZeneca        
AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

About Plan International Thailand

Plan International is a non-profit organization operating in more than 70 countries worldwide to promote, enhance, and protect children’s rights and ensure equality for girls. Plan International Thailand has been working in Thailand since 1981 to help build a just society using a Child Centered Community Development approach that puts children’s best interests as its top priority by working with children, young people, public/private partners, communities and families to drive positive changes that further children’s rights and gender equality at the local, national and global level.  Please visit https://plan-international.org/thailand and follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/plan.thailand

 

Contact
For further details please contact Pucharapan Holim, Communications Manager, pucharapan.holim@astrazeneca.com, +66 (0) 86 999 8587.
Patcharee Srisumran, Young Health Programme Thailand Manager, patcharee.Srisumran@plan-international.org, +66 (0) 87 051 6141

 

Reference

1. https://ddc.moph.go.th/uploads/publish/1035820201005073556.pdf