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Letter: Roswell Park won’t stand for bias in any form

Roswell Park won’t stand for bias in any form

I want to respond to a recent Buffalo News article regarding a gender discrimination lawsuit against Roswell Park. As the first female president/CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and with a management team around me equally balanced between men and women, I struggle to reconcile the image of Roswell Park portrayed by The News versus what I experience daily in leading this organization.

Throughout my career, I had to work harder than my male counterparts in the field of science and medicine, simply because I am a woman. I have also experienced the same challenges many women have faced trying to achieve success in a male-dominated business world. I am highly sensitive to the gender biases that women have faced and many of these biases still exist today. With that sensitivity intact, I have spent four years in my current leadership role, learning and listening.

Women, every bit as much as men, are leaders in this organization, across the board, at all levels and in all departments.

I am in no way discrediting any person who believes they have been mistreated in the workplace due to gender, religion, ancestry, education, personal lifestyle choices – and it is everyone’s right to challenge their experiences within our legal system.

Inside and outside of Roswell Park, I counsel women who want to enhance their careers and break through whatever ceiling they find as a barrier. This is important to me. Today, Roswell Park has over 3,700 employees, two-thirds of whom are women. Our staff is multi-cultured and incredibly diverse and we celebrate this in various ways. It is not by accident that in 2019 Forbes named Roswell Park one of America’s best employers for diversity.

I know that I continue to hold my team accountable to provide a culture of inclusion, which goes hand in hand with the mission and values of this 120-year-old, world-class organization. We stand by our record of maintaining a welcoming, respectful, comfortable and productive environment for our patients, employees and visitors, and have zero tolerance for bigotry and bias in any form.

Candace S. Johnson, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

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