June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, and here at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’), we’re all about celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion every day, because a great idea can come from anywhere and anyone, no matter who they love, or how they identify.
Get to know a few of our residents and Johnson & Johnson Innovation team members who identify as LGBTQ+, or as passionate allies for the community. We’ll be celebrating Pride all month long on our Twitter and Instagram channels, as well as in our email newsletters. Follow and subscribe to catch it all!
Julia Anthony, Co-Founder & CEO, SOLUtion Medical, JPOD @ Philadephia Resident
“I believe that innovation is for everyone, because to me innovation means problem solving - that's all it really is, and I don't think that that should be limited to any one type of person or type of group. It's a universal thing we all do – solve different challenges every day, and we all have the right to have a voice in how we solve problems and innovate.”
In the first photo, Julia is pictured with JPOD @ Philadelphia team member Olivia McPherson, and fellow resident, Tia Lyles-Williams of LucaPye Bio, at a work lunch during quarantine. In the second photo, Julia is joined by her friends and classmates from graduate industrial design school.
Frances Young, Manager, People and Growth, Dose Biosystems, JLABS @ Toronto Resident
“If we limit ourselves into thinking that innovation only comes from one subset of a community, then we really limit ourselves in terms of where we look for great ideas. I don't think an individual should be judged based on who they love or how they identify and if they have the intellect to be able to innovate, then they should be able to do so without judgment. I think that we can lift up and support LGBTQ+ innovators first by showing the support and providing that space in fields like STEM, where the LGBTQ+ community is less represented. We need to make sure there is proper outreach within these communities that say ‘we want to hear your ideas, and we want to hear your innovations – to talk to us!’”
On the left, Frances is pictured on a visit to Brooklyn. On the right, Frances and her partner Ian are pictured on a hike.
Sean Evans, Scientific Engagement Lead, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS
“As a person who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and as a former innovator and innovation enthusiast, I think by seeing a company like J&J support LGBTQ+ people makes me feel as if they have an interest in my community and encourages me because the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is such an innovative company that realizes a great idea can come from anywhere.”
In the first photo, Sean Evans (right), is pictured with his partner David on vacation at Sawtooth National Forest in Stanley Idaho. In the second photo, Sean, his partner, and friends from the Peace Corps celebrate at a wedding.
Pancho Fields, Research Scientist, Metabolomics, Dose Biosystems, JLABS @ Toronto Resident
“We have to be able to feel like our ideas are being heard. Historically, a lot of LGBTQ+ people’s ideas and voices sometimes haven't been heard in more heteronormative environments. As an institution or as a company, making sure that those voices are heard, and that our ideas are acted upon, can provide a really good example for other LGBTQ+ innovators or people looking to get into the sort of innovation space, because this is a place where they can belong.”
Last year, before the pandemic, Pancho was involved in a science communication drag show called ‘Science is a Drag’ that was organized by some local scientists and science communicators in Toronto. He had only been working at Dose Biosystems for about two months, but his coworkers came out to support him! He had a lot of fun getting to talk about science and network with other queer scientists. In the photo on the left, Pancho is pictured with the Lee Lab at the University of Notre Dame on the day of his PhD defense.
Heather Barnes, External Innovation Lead, Consumer R&D, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
“We are all born with the ability to be innovative. And combining diverse perspectives makes our work more fun, more successful, and creates some of the best inventions. We all have in-built biases. Making ourselves more conscious of them and choosing to act in an actively inclusive manner helps people bring their full selves and their diverse perspectives to work. To me, Pride is about diversity and LGBTQ+ visibility. It’s about reinforcing equal right for all people, recognizing how far we’ve come, and how much further we have to go.”
On the left, Heather is pictured with the EMEA Open&Out Leadership Team at the 2019 EMEA Open&Out Summit. On the right, Heather is pictured with her fiancé.
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