Sanofi has been partnering with The Smith Family to help bridge the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education divide in Australia. With one in six Australian children and young people living in poverty, families experiencing financial disadvantage can often see students fall behind in their learning.

We create opportunities for vulnerable students to participate in STEM topics and be inspired by our people. Participating in both 1:1 and group mentoring throughout the year, our hands-on immersive Work Inspiration days have welcomed students to our offices to gain a deeper insight into STEM skills, and how to apply them in job roles available in Australia.

This year we had to think a little differently. With COVID safe measures in place, we moved from an in house experience to fully virtual Work Inspiration event, a first for The Smith Family.

Over three days, young people from a number of QLD schools logged on to chat with The Smith Family and Sanofi employees to learn more about themselves, their future career aspirations and the types of careers they can explore in a company like Sanofi.  

Karen Aspros, HR manager at Sanofi

“I first became involved with The Smith Family when we were approached to host Work Inspiration in the Sydney office in 2018. I was on the initial project team and helped design the first 2 days face to face program.
Work Inspiration is an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of how businesses like Sanofi operate and the career pathways available. It also provides some insight into personality styles and how it is important to find a career that matches your strengths, passions and style.

The feedback we got from students involved in previous face-to-face sessions was positive and I wanted to provide the same opportunity again, even with the challenge of a virtual environment.

These virtual sessions worked well, although creating a virtual connection with the students can be harder. We still managed to provide an understanding of Sanofi, what we do and also a range of career journeys that our Sanofi team has undertaken.
The Sanofi team all enjoyed being involved and felt a sense of inspiring the students to achieve their best. Thank you, Sanofi Team, for taking the time and for sharing your career journeys."

Participating student and facilitator feedback:

“The sessions were helpful and opened my mind up to different careers and career paths that I never thought of doing before. All of the speakers were amazing, it was great to learn about what they all had to go through and overcome."

“It was fun to interact with experienced people in talking about the future. I learnt about many things such as future jobs, companies, and how the SANOFI people are helping to find vaccines.”

"Students were given a clear message that it is OK to change your mind, it is OK to not be sure of what you want to do and being guided by your interests, strengths and passions is a good place to start. The contribution that Sanofi Team made to these young people is outstanding; opening the eyes of young Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds to the world of work encourages aspirational thinking. This is potentially life-changing. Many thanks for the hard work!"

Thank you to everyone involved.