Q&A with Jane Pepino, Aird & Berlis

About Jane Pepino

Jane is a partner at Aird & Berlis and the founder of the firm’s Municipal and Land Use Planning Group. She has served two terms as Chair of the Women’s College Hospital’s Board of Directors and currently serves as a member of the Women’s College Hospital Foundation (WCHF) Advisory Council. She is also a member of WCHF’s distinguished 100Women, a community of leading women philanthropists committed to driving bold change for the future of healthcare.

Why are you raising your voice for women’s health at Women for Women’s?  

For too long, medicine and pharmacy did nothing to study and develop the appropriate treatments for the unique genetic and hormonal makeup of women. This lack of knowledge has led to misapplied treatments and dosages – or no treatment at all. Women’s College Hospital has advocated for change for over 100 years, and has led by example. As a result, women around the world, myself included, have better health.

In your professional career, what initiatives have you seen that have helped to create equity for women in the workplace? 

Initiatives that have helped provide some degree of equity for women in the workplace are based in the recognition and accommodation of social determinants that are common to women: child-bearing and child-rearing; women’s role as primary caregivers for family members; and the lack of encouragement or even access to higher paying roles in employment. Maternity leave was not available to me when my children were born, but now far fewer women lose traction or seniority because they have a child. Part-time or flexible hours allow caregiving to continue without giving up employment, and role models, mentoring and improved access have allowed women to enter and succeed in previously non-traditional roles. 

Tell us more about why Aird & Berlis has chosen to support Women’s College Hospital? 

Aird & Berlis is supporting Women’s College Hospital because the firm’s values are lived every day at Women’s. It was founded not only to treat women, but, at a time when women were not permitted to study or practice medicine in Canada, to train women to become doctors and practice in a supportive environment. Excellence and innovation have been hallmarks of research and treatment at Women’s College Hospital, and it is now an important part of the provincial and university health system. At Aird & Berlis, we share a commitment to inclusion, equity, excellence, and making a difference for our clients and our community.