Ingrid McPhilliamy is VP, rheumatology marketing of Horizon Therapeutics.

What would you do if you did not work in healthcare?

It would be hard to imagine not being connected to healthcare in some fashion. The opportunity to positively impact society and address some of the toughest challenges has always been a draw for me. Working in healthcare is personal, my grandmother suffered from a disease which eventually took her sight and it drove me to find solutions. My senior year of college I submitted my first patent for a device to support blind diabetics. Healthcare innovation, whether it’s a new biologic or a new device, has the ability to impact so many lives – that has meaning to me. 

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.

Nearly every day. Looking at how much our small team has been able to do for patients is a daily victory. We’ve done what no one thought was possible, taking a 9-year-old therapy and changing the preconceived notions and beliefs of physicians. Watching the a-ha moments when physicians understand the science and impact of gout is powerful because you know you are helping transform patient care and the practice of medicine.

When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it?

There have been a lot of these moments. I wish it were a single event, but in reality, there are walls to scale and fences to jump in any profession and in life itself. Whether it is starting a family and balancing that with a recent promotion or finding time to do a seventh-grade science project knowing you have a busy week of work to do. I find it’s the way you deal with the situation to strike a balance that keeps you grounded and in the end, you just need to be true to yourself and the people you love.

How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?

We recently took a family trip to Europe. It was a great opportunity to expose our kids to cultures outside of the U.S. This was our daughters’ first time abroad, and as both have been taking high school French, it was amazing to watch them soak up this immersive experience the language, food and culture of others. 

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

In healthcare marketing, there are many opportunities to hear directly from patients, and it gives you the chance to see firsthand the impact a product can truly have on their life. However, these experiences don’t always translate into the data needed to explain the benefits of a product or to explain it in terms that a patient is able to understand.

To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…

Foster a team culture that places a high value on mentorship and giving growth opportunities to individuals. Personally, I will make sure women have the same opportunities to excel and demonstrate their abilities that men often do.

What are your words to live by?

Be authentic and focus on doing the right things. The trust you develop with others will serve you for life.

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Take on all of the challenges and opportunities you can. Personal and career growth isn’t always a straight line.

Favorite drink?

I love great coffee and great wine. Lots of water in between.

What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?

  • Ferran Adrià Acosta, the chef from elBulli. I’d start with an amazing dinner and experience.
  • Oprah Winfrey. I took a leadership class from her and she is truly exceptional in her ability to network across industries and bring people together for the greater good. She will pull the best out of the guests at the table with her deep empathy.
  • Elon Musk. The amount of disruptive innovation he has spearheaded in industries once considered untouchable is pretty incredible. Plus my kids and husband are obsessed with him.