Big Pharma, Mentorship, and Finding Your Career Superpower, with Denice Torres

A career is never a straight line, and Denice Torres’ is no exception. After years of working as a janitor, she knew that she wanted to start her big career adventure. She studied psychology, attended law school and worked for United Way before she realized a job might not be the key to her pursuit of making a difference. Hear about the rest of her journey and what she’s learned from it in this episode.


Jackie Ferguson: Hi, and welcome to season five of the Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast sponsored by The Diversity Movement. I’m your host, Jackie Ferguson equality advocate and certified diversity executive. On this show, we discuss how diversity, equity and inclusion benefit our workplaces, schools, and communities by sharing the stories, insights, and best practices of game changers, leaders, and glass ceiling breakers that are doing the work to make our world a more understanding, welcoming and supportive place for us all.

Jackie: My guest today is Denice Torres entrepreneur, corporate executive, podcaster, mentor, speaker. Denice, thank you so much for being with us today. 

Denice: Oh, Jackie, I’m so excited. you know, after we had our first conversation had that, this woman’s so cool. And I’m really happy to be on here. And it’s, it’s really great to see what you’re doing.

Jackie: Oh, thank you, Denice. I felt the same way after our first conversation. And I’m so excited about jumping in and having a longer discussion and, and finding out a little bit more about you and your experience.

So Denice, I always like to start by asking our guests to tell us about themselves. you know, your family, your background, your identity, what would you like to share? 

Denice: Well, I’ll give you a quick snapshot. So I grew up in Gary Indiana, which is a steel town. My dad worked in the steel mills. I kind of grew up with a fire under my ass for sure, of like wanting to get out of Gary. So I was actually a janitor in the steel mill while I was in high school. And that definitely shaped me in so many ways. And I kind of went on from that job to be a janitor in a hospital. So I’ve had all this experience being a janitor. So my motivation, I didn’t exactly know what was out there in the world.

I just knew what I didn’t want. And so that kind of started my big adventure, that very much was motivated by fear. I just have to find something else. And, but the cool thing of growing up and, you know, 13 years of Catholic school, and I was blessed with some things that have helped me on this journey.

And one is a sense of humor of being able to find, you know, and no matter what’s going on, being able to find some humor in it or a way to find some joy on the journey. I started off, thinking that I had to be a success to be able to take care of myself. And I wasn’t sure how the hell that was going to happen.

Full Episode Transcript

Diversity Beyond the Checkbox is brought to you by The Diversity Movement, hosted by Head of Content Jackie Ferguson, and is a production of Earfluence.

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