Meghan Rivera

VP, digital engagement, Amag Pharmaceuticals

What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?

It’s always surprised my family and friends that I did not end up in the arts. When it was time for me to think about college, I ended up getting into an art school in New York City for my sculpting and painting. I also received a scholarship offer for creative writing. If I didn’t end up successful in healthcare, I likely would have gone back to my passion for the arts. 
Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.

I prefer high fives to fist pumps, as they usually indicate teamwork versus an individual win. 
My greatest victories always have to do with people. Seeing people on my team excel and do amazing things will always make me happiest in my career. And the most rewarding moments are when you see the results of coaching someone with an improvement in performance. 

My most rewarding work of late has been with Amag where we’ve been able to stand up a digital function and integrate across the organization, all while building an incredible team of talent. 
When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it?

I don’t view any defeat as painful, but rather as a learning experience. And there certainly have been many in my career. 

One key lesson I learned several years ago was that doing great work is not enough. Keeping your eye on the perception of your work, your team’s work, or your team as a whole is critical to being successful in an organization. While self-promotion can sometimes feel uncomfortable or seem self-indulgent, ensuring colleagues, peers, and leaders understand the value you and your team are bringing to an organization is mission critical to advancing your agenda, whatever it may be.  
How long ago was the last time you recharged your batteries? What did you do?

Vacation-wise, I spent a few days in Tulum over the holidays. But I try to “recharge my batteries” on a regular basis instead of few-and-far between shut downs. I do this by figuring out what helps me zone out, even if temporarily, which helps provide mini “escapes” from the day-to-day grind. In recent years it’s been physical activity – anything from pilates to SoulCycle to power yoga. Any and all of that can do it for me. 
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

There tends to be hesitancy to do things differently. This is likely due to several things. One being that measurement is a perpetual challenge within pharmaceutical marketing. Given that many organizations have shrinking commercial budgets, taking dollars away from a proven tactic and reallocating them to a tactic that does not have a guaranteed ROI is a difficult thing for many to do. 

In addition, there seem to be fewer career marketers in larger pharma organizations. For example, often times brand marketing roles can be leveraged as rotational opportunities for high potential sales leaders, which results in a higher concentration of tacticians versus true strategic marketers. All this leads to a trend toward risk aversion versus testing and learning new and different things across the industry.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…

Continue to mentor women, both formally and informally, as it’s my responsibility to give back. I’ve had some incredible mentors throughout my career and hope I can be the same for other women. 

In addition, I am committed to continuing the conversation regarding pay parity and equality in the workplace. We’re lucky there’s a spotlight on that topic right now and we can keep that up through continued honest and direct dialogue.  
What are your words to live by?

Maya Angelou said it best: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This remains at the center of everything I do. My success, both personally and professionally, can be attributed in part to staying true to my commitment to doing anything and everything in my power to build people up. 
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Be true to yourself. Identify your personal brand, and make sure it is rooted in authentic values important to you. Never underestimate the need to manage that brand throughout your career. 
Favorite drink?

Extra, extra, extra dirty vodka martini or a big pour of full-bodied red wine. 
What three people would you like to host at a dinner party and why?

Michelle Obama, because I admire nothing more than someone who has a balance of deep intelligence, powerful drive, and true grace and would love to understand how she maintains that stature under pressure and scrutiny. 
Malala Yousafzai, because I am in awe of her passion, drive, commitment to take risk, and ability to persevere through adversity, all at such a young age. 

And lastly, Maya Angelou. Her wisdom has been invaluable to me in my career and while I’d love to learn everything I could from her, I’d also like to thank her for inspiring me to be my own best advocate. “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”