Empowering and Inspiring the Women Leaders of Tomorrow

Johanna Mercier - February 11, 2020

This week, I’m excited to attend my first Watermark Conference for Women in San Jose. Forums such as Watermark are important for building our professional and personal skills and helping to create invaluable networks. They provide opportunities to listen, learn, grow and to continue to advocate for each other. All of these are important lessons in our growth as businesspeople and leaders.

Watermark, in particular, provides a unique opportunity to hear from world-class leaders involved in business, politics, sports and many other industries. The inspiring program provides valuable insights on inclusion and equity for everyone who attends. More importantly, it provides an opportunity to be part of a community centered on personal and professional development.

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that being a leader is more than just leading. It’s about creating an environment in which everyone – people managers and individual contributors alike – can demonstrate leadership. For me, that all starts with trust and transparency, which go hand-in-hand. I’ve come to appreciate open dialogue, to be challenged and to challenge back. I also believe in empowerment – that everybody has a role to play and expertise to contribute.

I am very proud to work at a company that not only recognizes the need for inclusion and diversity, but also supports and nurtures the careers and growth of women leaders. At Gilead, our employee resource groups (ERGs) work to cultivate an environment where everyone is empowered to bring their full selves and their unique perspectives to our common mission.

I am honored to be the executive sponsor for the employee resource group Women at Gilead because I believe so deeply in the value it brings to the company culture – and to our business. The more diverse the voices we amplify, the more perspectives we bring to the table, the better chance we have of improving patients’ lives.

I came to Gilead to make a difference in the lives of patients. But the impact of our ERGs and the value our company places on partnerships with organizations such as Watermark are another important part of why I joined. I’m excited to contribute to this meaningful work and to play a role in the development of tomorrow’s women leaders.

Johanna Mercier is the Chief Commercial Officer at Gilead and serves as the executive sponsor of the company’s Women at Gilead employee resource group.