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“I see myself in every client we serve; and I believe we all deserve better.”

– Marianne A. Fray

The Servant Leader

As the ultimate servant leader, Marianne A. Fray sees herself as an advocate for marginalized and underrepresented groups.

No two days are the same for Marianne A. Fray, the CEO of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC), a 40-plus year old nonprofit that serves pregnant women, parenting families and children in Southeastern Pennsylvania. After a long career in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, Marianne now leads over 150 staff members at MCC.

Some days she meets with various stakeholders, board, staff, and clients, securing funds for MCC, visiting staff and clients at one of MCC’s 9 sites, or lobbying with local and state elected officials to pass family friendly legislation. She also serves on other nonprofit boards. Marianne wholeheartedly embraces MCC’s vision to create an equitable future where all families are healthy and connected, with all children thriving and ready to learn.

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She has a passion for serving others that transcends empathy. As the daughter of missionaries who ran a rescue mission in Philadelphia that provided food and clothing to those who were homeless, it infused her childhood with service. This shaped her worldview. Because her immigrant parents wanted her to avoid the pitfalls of those at the mission and in her childhood neighborhood, they sent her to an all-female boarding school as a teen. The vast difference between where she came from and where she found herself caused culture shock. The lack of representation and racism affected her self-identity.

When Marianne reflects on her own experiences, she understands the challenges MCC clients can face.

During the Jim Crow era in Alabama, Marianne’s mother gave birth to her sister at a local doctor’s office since she couldn’t access the segregated hospital. Marianne had a similar experience 23 years later. In her senior year of high school, Marianne had an unplanned pregnancy. Because of little support and discrimination from the ‘free clinic’ in Philadelphia, Marianne’s pregnancy ended in a stillbirth. Both situations were the result of institutional racism that continues to this day. Persistent inequities such as these drive Marianne to fight for social justice every day.

Marianne believes these two tragic events connect her with the families she serves and fuels her advocacy. “It means so much to me that I lead an organization that lifts those who are impacted by similar issues that my mother and I experienced” she says.

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It was that same heart for service and justice that led Marianne to help found WOCIP.

Marianne worked in the pharma industry before joining MCC. “When I joined forces with the other founders to establish WOCIP, it was because we witnessed and personally experienced bias towards women of color in the pharma industry. We watched brilliant voices of color left out of critical conversations that could advance the business objectives of the companies in which we worked. We came together and resolved to disrupt this racist status quo,” Marianne says.

She and the founders are proud to see how WOCIP has built pathways to representation and equity in the pharma industry. “My past helped shape who I am and how I serve,” she says. “I am grateful for every experience and hopeful that together, we will usher in a better and more equitable future for our children.”

Building Connections

Empowering women of color in pharma to excel in their professional and personal development, WOCIP aims to change lives, and that starts with building connections.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Gerena

WOCIP’s Director of Committees

Monique Adams

Vice President of WOCIP

Jamila Watkins

Treasurer for WOCIP

Meet these amazing leaders redefining the life sciences industry for other women of color.

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WOCIP founder, fearless leader, and master connector Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton shares her greatest leadership moments.

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