What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
I would probably still work in healthcare but likely something more along the lines of health and wellness or fitness. I am passionate about empowering people to feel better and live better, whether that is through access to information or personal wellness.
Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?
There are so many people that I could thank here but I will say Paul Hudson, currently CEO of Sanofi. His leadership, desire to lean into digital and belief in me gave me the opportunity and a platform at AstraZeneca, that I wouldn’t have had in most roles or companies. I will forever be grateful to him for pushing me to think bigger and for giving me the opportunity to do things that I didn’t think possible in pharma.
How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?
Since I had children — so the last 10 years — I’ve really prioritized my work/life balance and felt it important to lead my teams that way. Since the pandemic, I have really started to think about the travel piece of it. Do I need to go there? Can it be done over video conference? Or if I do go, how do I make the most of it, either business-wise or personally.
Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?
I leave my comfort zone every time I go on a big stage. I consider myself an introvert/extrovert, which is a constant struggle for me as a leader. While I prefer smaller groups, it is necessary for me to do large industry speaking events and I want to do them. But I’ve learned over the years that I prefer and am much better at fireside chats and panels versus a stand-and-deliver presentation or a keynote. And that’s OK! We are who we are and should only strive to be the best version of ourselves, not someone else. So now, when I get those opportunities, I give them to the people on my team who enjoy them, so they can grow and develop as industry leaders.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
As someone who has built her career encouraging healthcare marketers to embrace emerging technologies, I wouldn’t say frustrating, I would say that healthcare marketing can be very conventional, and while that is likely frustrating for many, I find it to be a challenge and a huge opportunity area.
What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?
I love this question and I hope everyone considers how they are doing this. I try to mentor as many people as I can, both current and former colleagues. I have benefited so much from mentors in my career and am eager to pass on as much as I can to others. We are all on this journey trying to learn and grow and I believe that all ships rise when you mentor. I get as much from them as they do from me.
What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am not sure, I am a pretty open book. Maybe too open sometimes.
Perhaps that, while I am very Type A and love business planning, I am not a big career planner and never have been. I have built my career by seizing opportunities when I earned them and if they inspired me to do the next thing. I set mental goals in every role I am in and strive to achieve them, sometimes they evolve based on the environment, but generally, that is all the career planning I do.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
I’d say, “Know your worth, ladies, and then go ask for it.”
Recount an experience with the healthcare system, positive or negative, that inspires you.
Most recently it was getting the COVID-19 vaccine. After months of being worried and limiting our exposure to friends and family, especially a close relative who was battling cancer. I honestly teared up at that first vaccine appointment. I was just so emotional at what this industry can do and did during an unprecedented time. Finally, the entire world was experiencing what we all already knew, pharma makes life-changing medicine through science. I continue to be so inspired by this industry.
Favorite TV show/movie/song/book?