Spectra ERG Celebrates its First Anniversary Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community at Ipsen 

Spectra ERG Celebrates its First Anniversary Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community at Ipsen 

Spectra ERG Celebrates its First Anniversary Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community at Ipsen 

When Eric Gratton joined Ipsen from a large financial services firm, he was surprised to find there wasn’t an employee resource group (ERG) dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. “Being the over-achiever I am, I thought I should start one: a little passion project for the community and its allies.” Taking inspiration from Elevate, Ipsen’s ERG for women, Eric began envisioning a global ERG. 

“We started with an event to brainstorm a name, set a charter, and define our values. We soft-launched Spectra last June during Pride month,” said Sam Baily. Ipsen in Cambridge, MA, was already collaborating with OUTbio, the biotech industry’s largest LGBTQIA+ professionals’ group, but the team was eager to do more. 

“Aline Stokes, our Global DE&I Director, introduced us, because she knew that as individuals, we had a shared passion for LGBTQIA+ inclusion. We became a team, and formed Spectra soon after,” Sam explained. “Our ambition is for Spectra to become a valued resource for employees and the business, including helping to shape Ipsen’s policies and, beyond that, influencing the broader healthcare and scientific communities. For example, working with healthcare providers to understand the importance of using the right pronouns and ensuring they are mindful of the patient’s experience.” 

“Courtney Anderson joined Spectra shortly after its inception. “I came into the organization as a strong LGBTQIA+ ally, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come as a group. We knew we needed help from our leadership to elevate our voices, and we are working with our North America Leadership Team sponsors. I am also working with OUTbio to plan an ERG Summit in the fall, and I’ve hosted events this year, including a panel discussion on how employers like Ipsen can play a key role in driving advocacy and change.” 

Beyond the North America chapter of Spectra, which has branches in Cambridge and Montreal, Spectra’s UK & Ireland branch is very active. Sam has been involved in DE&I projects for several years, including initiating a similar ERG in a previous company. “When I first joined Ipsen, there weren’t any ERGs, so I’ve seen a lot of change in the past few years. Initially, we had a group that focused broadly on diversity. With Spectra, we’re honing in on the LGBTQIA+ community, helping implement policies, and building awareness across Ipsen. When Spectra launched, there was a clear opportunity for us to collaborate closely and benefit from each other’s resources.” 

Spectra is guided by a clear vision, mission, and charter: 

  • Vision: Empowering colleagues, friends, and families within the LGBTQIA+ community to drive advocacy, education, professional development, and community outreach. 
  • Mission: Highlight and celebrate the perspectives and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ communities within Ipsen. 
  • Charter: We value the contributions of every employee and aim to create a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ communities at Ipsen. We believe this is an important step in building a more inclusive and equitable workplace. 

Looking ahead, the co-chairs have ambitious goals beyond celebrating the community. They aim to develop policies for appropriate pronoun use, support transitioning employees, and improve benefits. “What we most need are people willing to step up and participate,” said Eric. “We want Spectra to be sustainable in the long-term,” added Courtney. “It needs to continue even if one day we aren’t here.” 

Looking forward to Spectra’s accomplishments in fostering inclusion and equity to create a supportive and diverse workplace for all. 

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