Comfortable Bringing His Whole Self to Work: HIV Medical Scientist Wayne Paul on How Gilead Supports LGBTQ+ Employees, Community

Gilead employee Wayne Paul, HIV Medical Scientist, Australian Medical Affairs says, “Gilead proudly standing by its LGBTQ+ employees and communities means a great deal to me.”

Wayne Paul

Medical Scientist, HIV
Medical Affairs
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined Gilead: March 2015

Wayne Paul is a HIV Medical Scientist on the Australian Medical Affairs team and was recently appointed Global Co-Lead for Gilead’s PRIDE Alliance. Learn why Gilead was the first place he felt he could bring his full self to work from day one.

Q: What drew you to your field and how did you come to work at Gilead?

I was always interested in science and healthcare – my favorite game as a kid was “Operation.” After completing my undergraduate degree in biomedical science, I worked for a finance recruitment agency that landed me a role in clinical trial recruitment. From there, I worked in clinical trial positions before moving into a hospital clinical research role. A position opened in Clinical Operations at Gilead and I was keen for a change, so I jumped at it.

During my time here, Gilead has been very supportive as I completed my postgraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Medicine and provided me with development opportunities across the Clinical Operations, Regulatory Affairs and Medical Affairs departments. Not all the positions were linear, but each offered professional and personal growth which I’m grateful for.

I’m now an HIV Medical Scientist on the Australian Medical Affairs team. As a field-based employee, I cover five states and territories. The role focuses on meaningful scientific discussions with healthcare professionals and ensuring appropriate use of medicines.

Even though Gilead is a large, global company, I’ve never felt like a number or just another employee. I’ve always felt empowered to have a voice and share my thoughts and ideas.

Q: Can you tell us more about the role of the Medical Affairs teams at Gilead?

Medical Affairs is critical to bridging the gap between the scientific and medical aspects of Gilead's products and the commercial aspects of the business. We work closely with healthcare professionals, regulatory agencies, patient advocacy groups and other stakeholders to ensure that Gilead's products are safe and effective and meet the needs of patients. We also provide scientific and medical expertise to support a wide range of activities, from clinical development to commercialization.

Q: What do the company’s efforts to prioritize equity, inclusion and diversity mean to you?

Gilead’s focus in these areas means a great deal to me as everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their background or identity.

Prior to joining Gilead, I had never been openly out at work. This wasn’t due to any negative experiences, but more about the lack of visibility my previous employers showed regarding their support of LGBTQ+ employees. When I joined Gilead, I decided to bring my whole self to work from day one. Since then I’ve worked actively on inclusion & diversity initiatives to create a more inclusive culture, helping ensure all people walking through our office doors or interacting with any Gilead employee know they are welcome and respected for who they are.

Q: Can you share your perspective on Gilead’s support of LGBTQ+ employees and communities, including ERG efforts and honoring Pride Month?

In addition to my role in Medical Affairs, I’m also the Global Co-Lead for Gilead’s PRIDE Alliance, the employee resource group (ERG) that supports our LGBTQ+ employees and allies and the LGBTQ+ communities in the countries where we operate.

Gilead proudly standing by its LGBTQ+ employees and communities means a great deal to me. We have a longstanding history of working with the LGBTQ+ community through our work in HIV. In 2016, we developed a more formalized and deliberate approach to better support LGBTQ+ employees and the community by establishing the PRIDE Alliance. The ERG focuses on the five pillars of: cultural awareness, community outreach and engagement, professional development, business impact and recruitment. Through our work, Gilead has been recognized as an inclusive employer across many countries and also expanded the PRIDE Alliance to 18 sites globally (and growing). To honor Pride Month, the PRIDE Alliance is supporting more than 10 Pride parades around the world, with many employees participating in the events.

Q: Tell us about your most memorable day at Gilead. What made it special?

Hands down it was participating in the 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. We started the ANZ PRIDE Alliance chapter in 2017, and our dream was to sponsor and participate in the event. Fast forward two years and we were in Sydney with 80 of our colleagues, friends and family. It was truly a bucket-list moment.

While at this event, another attendee asked what I did for work. When I told him, he gave me a big hug and told me what an impact our treatment had on his life. Moments like these are the real reminder of why we do what we do – and to think I play a small part in this is what keeps me motivated and focused.

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