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Viatris plays pivotal role in facilitating global conversation around women in leadership, as International Women’s Symposium wraps up with commitment to equity in sport

The International Canoe Federation’s (ICF) Women’s Paddlesports Symposium, hosted by Canoeing Ireland concluded with participants from 34 countries agreeing to actions to create equity in sport. The two-day inaugural Symposium attracted prominent speakers such as International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, ICF President Thomas Konietzko, Sport Ireland CEO Dr. Una May, Minister for Sport Thomas Byrne T.D., and former private secretary to Nelson Mandela, Zelda la Grange. Panel discussions and facilitated breakout workshops provided leadership and coaching tools to the over 100 participants, underpinned by the strength of the community as a catalyst for change. Global healthcare company Viatris partnered with Symposium organisers as part of our commitment to gender equity as a driver of building healthier communities.

Minister for Sport Thomas Byrne T.D. reinforced the importance and urgency of increasing female participation in leadership roles: “I was delighted to officially open the inaugural ICF 2023 Women’s Symposium. It is a great honour for Ireland to host this symposium which has brought together international delegates representing 34 nations. As Sport Minister, I want to see the gender participation gap eliminated wherever it exists, be it on the court, on the pitch, on the water and in the boardrooms too. I welcomed the opportunity to reiterate my total commitment to seeing a minimum of 40% gender balance on the national boards of publicly-funded sporting organisations by the end of this year. I have been fully clear that failure to achieve the 40% target will result in serious funding implications for sporting organisations. It is so important that young girls see women at the decision-making level in sport. I want to commend Canoeing Ireland and everyone involved in organising this symposium.”

Event sponsor Viatris assumed an active role in the two-day event, with Melissa Fisher, Country Manager, Ireland Commercial and paddlesports enthusiast drawing on her experience from corporate life to encourage dialogue and share learnings and tangible tools: “I am passionate about female empowerment. At Viatris we are also on a journey to increase women’s representation globally in senior management to at least 35% by the end of 2027. Whether we are on the water or in the workplace, we deal with similar challenges and aspirations when it comes to encouraging female participation. I come away from these past two days with renewed confidence that while changing patterns can be difficult, change is definitely afoot. We heard from IOC President Thomas Bach that the Paris 2024 Olympics will be the first Olympics in history to achieve gender parity. More and more women are feeling empowered to reach their full potential and it’s up to each individual to harness this energy for future generations of female leaders.”


About Viatris
Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ: VTRS) is a global healthcare company empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We provide access to medicines, advance sustainable operations, develop innovative solutions and leverage our collective expertise to connect more people to more products and services through our one-of-a-kind Global Healthcare Gateway®. Formed in November 2020, Viatris brings together scientific, manufacturing and distribution expertise with proven regulatory, medical, and commercial capabilities to deliver high-quality medicines to patients in more than 165 countries and territories. Viatris’ portfolio comprises more than 1,400 approved molecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas, spanning both non-communicable and infectious diseases, including globally recognized brands, complex generic and branded medicines, and a variety of over-the-counter consumer products. With approximately 38,000 colleagues globally, Viatris is headquartered in the U.S., with global centers in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India. Learn more at and, and connect with us on Twitter at @ViatrisIncLinkedIn and YouTube.

“Sport Ireland Chief Executive Dr. Una May”, Copyright Canoeing Ireland/Matt Browne@Sportsfile

“Viatris Team (L-R) Tilde Pihl, Niamh Brennan, Muireann Byrne, Melissa Fisher”, Copyright Viatris/Muireann Byrne


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