On International Women’s Day, the team at Commercial Eyes looks to recognise the strength and leadership of women in the life sciences sector, and throughout all industries.
“Women make up the majority of the life sciences workforce” – Ausbiotech 2022 Snapshot. At Commercial Eyes we would like to acknowledge the efforts of these people, and in particular the members of our own Commercial Eyes community who have helped lead the growth and development of the company over the years.
Commercial Eyes was built on a business model that prioritised flexible working arrangements, allowing for a more family-friendly approach to work.
When Commercial Eyes was founded in 2001, unlike the post-COVID world, flexible working arrangements were not common practice.
says Managing Director and Founder, Andrew Carter
“At the time, the pharmaceutical industry generally wasn’t receptive to part timers, wasn’t very family friendly or keen to embrace the flexible work model,”
However, noting that clients were not particularly concerned by when the work happened, just that it was “completed on time and to a high standard”, Carter embraced a business model that gave more freedom around where and when staff worked.
“When I started Commercial Eyes, my goal was simple – to build a great business.”
This model resonated strongly with women, particularly those who were seeking to resume their career after maternity leave. It offered them the flexibility to organise their workday in a way that was more conducive to family life.
Our Executive Director, Melissa Sampson-Curry, is an excellent example of this, as she joined Commercial Eyes in 2003 after taking a prolonged break from work to care for her second child.
– Melissa Sampson-Curry, Executive Director.
“From the moment I joined the business I noticed women were valued and respected, differently from my previous career in banking and finance. The company had a family culture in the early years [and] the workplace was mostly mums with young children working part-time.”
Having worked at Commercial Eyes for nearing on 20 years, Melissa has become an essential pillar of the company, contributing significantly to its growth and development. Her dedication and leadership have been a source of inspiration for many women in the industry, motivating and guiding the next generation of professionals.
Mel Blake has been with Commercial Eyes since 2011, initially starting in an administrative position and now in the role of Consulting Operations Manager, she plays a vital role in supporting and developing initiatives focused on maximising growth opportunities for the company. Reflecting on her tenure with the company, she acknowledges the impact of strong senior women in leadership who have inspired her from the very beginning.
– Mel Blake, Consulting Operations Manager
“One of the main reasons I chose Commercial Eyes as my career path was because Melissa [Sampson-Curry] had been my mentor from the very beginning, and a strong female leader whom I admire. Her guidance and support have been instrumental in my accomplishments. “
She also acknowledges the instrumental role played by the flexible work model in facilitating her career growth, especially after becoming a mother while occupying a management position.
“As a mother of two young children who is also committed to her career, I often experience feelings of guilt as I strive to balance my work and family life. Fortunately, Commercial Eyes is a company who has always valued and promoted a flexible work model, even more so in the wake of the COVID pandemic.”
Celebrating Women at Commercial Eyes: Empowering Success and Inclusion
Bree McKenzie started at Commercial Eyes in 2022, bringing with her over 15 years of experience within the life sciences industry. Stepping into the position of Head of Patient Programs, Bree says the best thing about working at Commercial Eyes is that, when “having a child with NDIS funding and appointments, I know we are flexible enough that I can make appointments around my workday”
“I always want to work for a company like Commercial Eyes that strives for excellence and has a strong representation of women both.”
Bree describes how the culture at Commercial Eyes ensures she is “seen as not just a working mum but a valuable and insightful team member”.
“My aspiration at work isn’t hidden by being a parent. I’m seen for the quality of work I do. It’s nice to be in a company where women are in leadership roles. it gives every female working here real-world examples to inspire and grow”.
Sarah Anderson began working at Commercial Eyes in 2021 as part of the graduate program and has recently become a permanent and highly skilled member of the Regulatory, Quality & Compliance team. She details the effect of interacting with the women in leadership, and how they have influenced her own development and goals.
“I have had the opportunity to work with a number of women in leadership positions who have shown genuine interest in my goals and ambitions and have encouraged me to strive for success in my career, allowing me to realise my own potential as a future leader.”
She also outlines how the “flexible and inclusive culture at Commercial Eyes is a stand-out feature” and that in conjunction with the health and wellbeing program “further emphasises the strong focus on creating an environment with a healthy work-life balance that sets Commercial Eyes apart from other companies in the industry.”
To date, almost 22 years since its founding, Commercial Eyes retains this business model, where now almost 80 percent of the company’s staff are women, with the leadership team and management roles also comprising mostly of women.
On International Women’s Day 2023 Commercial Eyes wants to acknowledge all the wonderful women that have contributed to the growth of our company and encourage everyone to empower and support the people that drive this industry to ever-greater heights.