News from AMTRA

AMTRA’s Deputy CEO shares her thoughts on the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day: Inspiring Inclusion


To mark International Women’s day AMTRA’s deputy CEO, Hillary Cowley, shares her thoughts on this year’s IWD theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’. Hillary qualified from the University of Zimbabwe in 2002 and sat the RCVS Diploma of Membership exam in 2003 and was then accepted and entered onto the RCVS register.  She spent some months in mixed practice in sub-Saharan Africa before committing to Companion Animal practice in the UK.  She spent nearly a decade working in pharmacovigilance and latterly regulatory affairs in the pharmaceutical industry before being appointed Deputy CEO of AMTRA.


Hillary says: “Inclusion for me is giving everyone a voice regardless of background, gender or ability, and ensuring everyone who wants to be at the table can contribute to conversations and be heard. 


“We know that diversity is important in nature and that food webs fall down quickly when an element is removed. As a society, we are a microcosm of that, and diversity and inclusion is critical to success and achieving the best outcomes and impacts for all. I am proud to work for an organisation that drives inclusivity and empowerment as part of its DNA. AMTRA strives to be flexible and accommodates different ways of working both within the organisation and for its stakeholders. We don’t stand still and are always seeking out ways to strengthen, evolve, and empower our stakeholders through the work we do.


“International Women’s Day ‘calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected’. For me, what is so fulfilling and pleasing at AMTRA is the culture where there is respect and encouragement for different ways of working and varying perspectives. There is an ingrained undercurrent of mutual respect, and everyone is valued for the differing opinions, experiences and expertise they bring which really aligns with the IWD theme of inspiring inclusion. The best teams are those that recognise the skills and attributes of its members irrespective of gender.


“As a result, we efficiently and effectively make decisions as a team and evolve in response to challenges and opportunities. We make decisions effectively through listening and with mutual respect and understanding of our respective dialogues.  There is a culture of support and collaboration which helps us achieve our common goal  - that of supporting SQPs in their qualification and work.


“One of the key pillars of ‘Inspire Inclusion is the promotion of diversity in leadership and decision-making positions. I am a woman, an immigrant, and a mother. Being trusted and given flexibility makes a big difference to me and reassures me that my contribution is valued – which are big ticks when it comes to this year’s IWD theme.


“AMTRA is an organisation that is always driving change – the very nature of what we do in championing the importance of continued CPD in the SQP world is all about driving empowerment. This makes working for AMTRA a breath of fresh air. If I recognise a challenge which needs addressing, I have freedom AND most importantly support from the leadership team and Board around me to address that and work towards changing things for the better.”