What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
As an outgrowth of my global work with patients, I would like to further humanitarian efforts in worldwide organizations such as the United Nations.
Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with many men and women who served as role models throughout my career. One who has a special place is Christi Shaw, currently CEO of a pharma company. She brought me to the U.S. when I was working in Europe, to lead a major franchise and U.S. launch. As I had no U.S. experience at that point, and the launch was anticipated to be one of the largest growth opportunities for the company worldwide, Christi was taking a great leap of faith in offering me such a big job. It turned out very well, and in the process, she taught me a great deal about leadership and connecting more deeply with the human side of being a leader.
Work to live, or live to work?
Of course, I work to live! However, I also feel like I live to work in an industry that helps patients live longer and better.
Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?
For my first professional presentation, as a young product manager in my early twenties, I was asked to lead a field force training for 60 sales representatives, including former colleagues. I recall that every part of me was shaking, and 60 people felt like 6000 — true stage fright! I did get through it and learned that I needed to become more confident speaking in front of people if I wanted to rise in my career. Fast forward a few years, I discovered that I actually enjoyed public speaking, and with some training I was conveying relevant messages in front of audiences as large as 10,000 people. I find them to be powerful moments.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
Healthcare marketing does present certain challenges that are the focus of much of our efforts, such as achieving consistent patient access in an environment of strict cost containment. In addition, predominantly in the international markets I currently lead, access to innovation is also burdened with region-specific obstacles.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…
… consistently support and develop women to help them stand up unapologetically about career advancement that includes appropriate compensation based on merit, not gender. Parity and self-empowerment begins with self-actualization — how we feel about ourselves. We must model behaviors such as speaking up, pursuing challenges, asking for those promotions/raises and engaging allies that support us in our journey.
Where would you like to see more progress in the #MeToo movement?
Regarding the #MeToo movement, my daughters inspire me to create a level playing field and a better world for them, so that they may realize their potential. By the time they become young adults, I look forward to #MeToo becoming a thing of the past, a testament to society’s evolution from “me” to “we” in close partnership between genders.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
I would advise young women starting in most careers, including healthcare marketing, to bring to the table outstanding skills. They should have the ability to think independently, to be driven and assertive, to pursue their dreams and to lead with their brains as well as their hearts, with a sense of purpose. I believe women are a powerful force of change to positively impact companies and society.
I love any song that makes me move, and for the record, I can even dance to the ringtone on my phone!
Which three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?
My days and nights are so full and busy, it would be a great pleasure to host a dinner party for just my wife and two children. It took me some 40-plus years to find my way around a kitchen, and my paella has become pretty popular!