ISPE International Women’s Day Interview with ISPE Women in Pharma® Member and ISPE Foundation Supporter Carolina Serrano

5 Mar, 2024
ISPE Foundation

This International Women’s Day, the ISPE Foundation spoke with Carolina Serrano, the Emerging Leader Chair for NASAAC, who shared more about her passion for Women in Pharma® and how Mentor ISPE came to be. Day to day, Carolina is a Senior Process Control Engineer who is a part of the startup team for Lilly’s new API manufacturing site in Lebanon, Indiana, in support of Lilly’s manufacturing capacity expansion. Yet, through Carolina’s involvement in ISPE, her impact on the pharmaceutical industry extends beyond her day job. Carolina’s participation in ISPE initially began when she started attending Women in Pharma® webinars. As she began to meet and build connections with others through ISPE’s virtual programs and in person conferences, her involvement quickly expanded, eventually leading her to apply to be the Mentorship Committee Chair for Women in Pharma. From there, the idea for an international group mentorship program was formed, leading to what is now known as Mentor ISPE to be brought to life.



Carolina describes Mentor ISPE as a program that is highly beneficial for all people, but especially for recent graduates who are beginning the shift from academics into the pharmaceutical workforce. She states, “Mentor ISPE aims to bridge the gap between industry and academia. It is an amazing platform for students and Emerging Leaders interested in the pharmaceutical industry to connect with more senior professionals and learn about the industry. It really is the program that I wish I had when I was in school as a founder of the Texas A&M ISPE Student Chapter. When I graduated, I wasn’t sure how to transition into being an Emerging Leader and if it wasn’t for the mentorship relationships I had built along the way with ISPE and Women in Pharma members, it would’ve been much tougher for me to continue being involved with ISPE.” Today, Mentor ISPE has reached over 300 individuals internationally. This would not have been possible without the Women in Pharma® programs that helped to empower and inspire Carolina to take action – shifting from a spectator to a large contributor within ISPE.


Recently, Carolina was able to see the results of her innovation and dedication up close. She shared, “A couple of months ago, when I was sitting at my desk working, one of the new Lilly engineers that had just onboarded into my team approached me and told me that she had applied to the Mentor ISPE program. She was excited to be grouped with her mentorship group and learn more about the industry. At that point, I felt very proud that all the work I had put in had made a difference in someone’s life that was close to where I worked. It meant that not only was the message getting out there, but it was also getting to the right audience and sparking interest. That moment made my day.”


The impact that Carolina has had and will continue to have within and beyond ISPE in such a short time is truly remarkable. There are many more stories like this one that will continue to develop along with Mentor ISPE that Carolina may never hear, but that she is undoubtedly intertwined with as a designer of the program.


Carolina went on to say that as a woman of color in a male dominated industry, she has personally experienced what it is like to have to go to additional lengths of effort to prove her talents and capabilities. Therefore, the message of Women in Pharma, that diversifying leads to greater strength within the pharmaceutical industry and that all people deserve an equal opportunity, is greatly important to her as it helps to break down biases for future generations. Mentor ISPE builds off these foundations and values as mentors play a huge role in aiding others through the hurdles currently within our industry. Yet, since Women in Pharma is funded through the work of the ISPE Foundation, none of these influential programs would exist without the dedication and donations of companies and individuals who recognize and take seriously the need for flourishing diversity within the pharmaceutical industry.


If you would like to be a part of empowering more women and individuals from underrepresented groups within the pharmaceutical industry, like Carolina, please visit to give this International Women’s Day. Your donation will elevate and encourage the women in our field today who will go on to do the same for the women of tomorrow.

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