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Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion


COS: Fostering a diverse workplace across the globe

 

We aim to foster a workforce that reflects and contributes to the diverse, global community in which we operate. We are committed to developing, maintaining, and supporting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for all our colleagues.

At COS, we take a collective responsibility to create an environment where colleagues feel included, respected and comfortable to bring their whole self to work.

We launched the COS Diversity & Inclusion Group in 2020 with the specific aim of bringing diversity to the fore.

Stacie Hudgens is our Founder & CEO. 

" The foundation of humanity should be that individuals from all diverse populations inhabiting this earth are included and treated equitably and fairly, irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, age or gender.

As the CEO of an outcomes research group, I founded this company on this general principle and will continually work to maintain these values at COS. It is my responsibility, as a leader, to ensure equitable treatment across the organization both in terms of current employees as well as those considering joining the COS team.

Personally, as a gay woman who grew up very poor with an amazing single parent, I know what it is to hide your true self and have to fight the odds to find success. It is with great pleasure that I stand behind the new, employee-run Diversity & Inclusion panel at COS; and firmly support that every team member will be embraced for their individuality in our work family. " 

You can read our Diversity and Inclusion Charter here

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month!

Our spotlight is on a special LGBTQ+ activist, Marsha P. Johnson. Without this incredible and brave person, the LGBTQ+ rights movement would not be where it is today. 

Marsha was born on August 24th, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Marsha identified as male at birth. After graduating high school, Marsha moved to New York City with only $15 and a bag of clothes. She began dressing almost exclusively in women’s clothes and adopted the full name Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind.” To her, this was a life motto and a response to questions about her gender.


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April is ‘Celebrate Diversity Month’ – an opportunity to enjoy, promote, and celebrate our differences 

Did you know that April is diversity month? It was officially designated as diversity month in 2004, and it strives to help people gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other and their differences. There are many holidays, holy days, and diversity events that take place in April from World Autism Awareness Day and Earth Day to Ramadan, Passover and Easter, which makes April the perfect month to consider new ways you can integrate diversity into your life.

At COS, we celebrate diversity and inclusion daily and believe there is true strength and creativity in diversity, and inclusion unleashes that strength. 

"Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization."
- M Gandhi


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Beginning in the 1960s, Marsha became actively involved in the gay rights movement. Specifically, Marsha found herself near the Stonewall Inn in the early hours of June 28th, 1969. That night, police officers raided the gay bar. As the officers began to arrest people for violating various discriminatory laws, the patrons of the Stonewall fought back. The Stonewall uprising was an awakening for an entire generation of LGBTQ+ activists. Following the Stonewall uprising, Marsha and a fellow activist, Sylvia Rivera, established the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) in 1970. STAR was a group committed to supporting transgender youth experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Marsha was found dead on July 6th, 1992. Her death was ruled a suicide. At Marsha’s funeral, hundreds of people showed up. The church was so full that the crowd spilled into the street. Marsha’s friends and acquaintances thought it was more likely that Marsha was a victim of an attack. Trans women, particularly women of color, were regular targets of hate crimes, a problem that persists to this day.

In the time since her death, Marsha has become an icon of the transgender community. In 2019, New York City announced that a statue of Marsha and Sylvia Rivera would be the first monument to honor trans women in the city. In 2020, New York State named a waterfront park in Brooklyn after Marsha.


The COS Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The COS Diversity and Inclusion team is made up of colleagues based in the UK and US, each with an equal voice.


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Emily Calderbank
Medical Writer 2
I joined the D&I team to implement policy that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am interested in developing content for children about these principles and how to facilitate these conversations with young people. I am excited to explore how our field can grow and look forward to being part of its change.
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Kelsie Brewer
Senior Research Associate
I believe listening to all people’s voices and learning from other people’s experiences are necessary to grow and ensure our world is a more equitable place. It is also crucial to learn from the past to work against racism, sexism, and other types of discrimination. I am excited that COS is placing importance on working toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization, within the field, and in clinical trials.
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Michael DeRosa
Principal Scientist/Programmer 3
I think as a member of society with a certain set of privileges it’s important to help elevate others that unfortunately are not always given equal representation, equity, and access to betterment.  By joining the Diversity and Inclusion committee I hope to promote a work environment that encourages these ideals.
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Libby Floden
Senior Director of Quantitative Science

I am on the D & I team because I want to foster a work culture that is supportive of all people. More than this, I want to help actively seek people of diverse backgrounds to COS because I believe the richness and depth of various viewpoints and perspectives will elevate our delivery of good science (not to mention enrich my own work experience). On a more macro level, I want to contribute to increasing inclusion and diversity of the patient-voice to clinical trials.


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Lauren Garcia
Research Associate 2
The Hispanic and Indigenous communities are misrepresented in the scientific/industry/research workforce. I hope to add perspective and discuss the disparities these, and other minority, communities face.  Research and data support the strong correlation between diversity and performance within the company, I believe COS can augment to these findings. Representation matters. 
 
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Ruby Gogana
Study Coordinator 2
I wanted to join the D&I team because I think it’s important to learn and share everyone’s different backgrounds and viewpoints. Listening to their voice allows us to understand their stories and therefore make COS a workplace everyone feels comfortable and accepted, and even learn something new about their backgrounds.
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Melanie Hughes
Research Associate 1
Growing up with a parent who is severely disabled, my family has always been subject to prejudice.  I was bullied at school; my mum ridiculed because people chose to ignore the person and focused on her chair. I always found this difficult because for me the wheelchair did not exist and I could never understand why others did not see the same. Diversity and Inclusion has to be taught and not ignored, which I have always been an advocate for through every aspect of my life.  Joining COS’s D&I committee was so easy for me; learning more about other diverse groups and how they deal with indifference. I want to promote empowerment and hear people, help make people feel that they belong – that their voice and being are important in our world.
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Coleen del Rosario
Research Associate 2
It's important to have meaningful conversations around equity, social justice, and the histories that have shaped issues of structural access and (under)representation in the workplace and beyond. Being involved in COS's D&I committee allows me to engage in these conversations and help build a collaborative and inclusive workplace environment. Considering the fraught histories of exclusion in clinical research and health research in general, I also hope to have conversations around and learn more about what industry leaders can do to help move the needle toward more diversity and inclusivity in clinical trials.

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Elaine Langlais
Study Coordinator 2
I am absolutely thrilled to join the D & I Committee because I have always lived by the mantra that everyone on this planet has something to offer; a unique perspective of life that cannot be taken for granted. People are absolutely fascinating, from the cultural and religious differences to their ideologies on how to live their lives and should be celebrated for contributing their unique principles to the world. As a member of this committee I hope to not only learn more about various cultural perspectives, but also help to foster the environment that these discussions are open and welcome. "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance" ~Socrates. I am honored to be a part of such a proactive team in educating the masses in the hopes of a better world.
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Karen MacNab
Director of Human Resources
I am excited to be a part of COS’s D&I committee to help grow our company with individuals from all backgrounds that help weave the multi-colored, multi-cultural cloth that makes our workforce strong and powerful.  I want to help show that COS is committed to its ongoing involvement in recruiting, the community and to its employees with impactful vision, programs and policies that create diversity with inclusion.  Our journey has just begun, and I am empowered by this committee to make a difference. 
 
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David Navarro
Medical Writer 1
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential components of a healthy functioning and just society. This includes the workplace and I'm glad to be a part of the COS D&I committee. As an author, poet, and essayist I am deeply interested in promoting DEI and I advocate for it frequently in my writings. Having grown up in an ethnically and culturally diverse family, and having focused on interdisciplinary diversity studies for my recent college degree, I feel I have a lot to offer in helping to promote and celebrate DEI and mutual respect for all.
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Jennifer Rafalski
Senior Research Associate
I am very excited to join the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at COS for several reasons. In my last job I was part of the Diversity Committee and thoroughly enjoyed the work we did, and the collaboration involved in building an environment towards better understanding of ourselves and each other.  I am eager to get to know COS team members better, especially those who are not on my project teams. I feel it’s important to prioritize a diverse workplace and want to be a part of creating that through recruitment, learning opportunities, and engaging others in meaningful conversation that is unifying. These efforts can also extend out to our work in the field, both through the patient voice and with business development and procurement.

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Blue Stevenson
Research Associate 2

I joined D & I because I want to better understand the viewpoints and experiences of others. Empathy is one of the most powerful tools we have for creating an environment where people feel welcomed, respected, and connected. I’m excited to take part in our company’s ongoing conversation about what we can do better!

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Cindy Umanzor-Figueroa
Research Scientist 1

Joining D&I was a must do for me. As a first-generation Latina, I’ve played the role of the translator to help my family overcome the language barrier and navigate the healthcare system. Now in a professional role as a researcher, I have an opportunity to contribute to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in my work, to strive for all voices to be represented. Diverse representation, equity and inclusion gives us the opportunity to translate our unique experiences and create an environment where all voices are heard and understood.

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Traci Abraham
Research Scientist 2

Growing up in the rural Midwestern US, I witnessed first-hand the damaging impact of social marginalization on individuals and communities. These early experiences led me to volunteer for the D&I committee, where I can support the effort to create a COS that is as inclusive and welcoming as possible. I believe that inclusiveness fosters a more dynamic and cohesive work culture and that organizations therefore gain strength from leveraging the diversity found within them. Serving on the D&I committee allows me to support the effort to foster a work culture that meets people where they are and embraces the uniqueness that they bring to our international team.


COS Diversity & Inclusion highlights


  • Project Launch: August 2020

    Launch of the COS Diversity & Inclusion Group (D&I Group) and Charter

  • Newsletter Content

    D&I Group provides monthly content for COS Connect, our global team newsletter

  • Keeping in touch

    Biweekly Group meetings scheduled

  • D&I sub-group formed: Communication and Promotion

    This group works together to design and produce D&I items to promote for the global team and bring attention to the work being done to maintain a diverse and inclusive place of work for all COS

  • D&I sub-group formed: Cultural Calendar

    For the creation of a cultural/events calendar

  • D&I sub-group formed: Data Measurement and Recruitment

  • D&I sub-group formed: Training and Building and Inclusion Culture

    Finding workshops for COS employees, refine hiring efforts, and discusses what goes into the newsletter.

Here are just some of the events we recognise:

February

LGBT History Month (UK) 

Black History Month (USA) 

 International Epilepsy Day 

Chinese New Year  

Random Acts of Kindness Day 

Rare Disease Day 

March

Endometriosis Awareness Month (International)

International Women’s Week 

World Kidney Day (International) 

World Autism Awareness Week (International) 

April

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (International) 

Parkinsons Awareness Month 

May

Skin Cancer Awareness Month 

World Asthma Day (International) 

Deaf Awareness Week (UK) 

World Lupus Day (International) 

ME Awareness Day (International) & Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (International) 

Neurodiversity Celebration Week (UK) 

World Meditation Day 

World Digestive Health Day (International) 

World MS Day 

June

Pride Month (international) 

June 7: Cancer Survivors Day (International) 

June 15-20: Men’s Health Week (International) 

June 19: Juneteenth

June 21-30: World Wellbeing Week (International) 

September

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 

September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day (International) 

September 21-26: International Week of Happiness at Work 

September 25: World's Biggest Coffee Morning 

October

ADHD Awareness Month (UK) 

Black History Month (UK) 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (UK) 

October 1: World Vegetarian Day (International) 

October 10: World Mental Health Day (International) 

October 12-15: National Work Life Week (UK) 

October 18: World Menopause Day 

November

November 2-5: International Stress Awareness Week 

November 14: World Diabetes Day (International)