On Thursday, April 4 I attended the OPMA’s (Ontario Pharmaceutical Marketing Association) meeting “Women in Pharma.” Lee Ferreira (Business Unit Director – Multiple Sclerosis at Genzyme, a Sanofi company), Eileen McCormack (Marketing Director – New Products and Business Development at AstraZeneca) and Nancy Krunik (Vice President, Luminex Molecular Diagnostics) were on the panel. The three women shared their stories of how they rose to the top in what remains a male-dominated industry. A recurring theme was to know when to be firm and command, and when to negotiate. As Lee Ferreira shared, her colleagues will sometimes ask her “Is this a tell or a sell?” – you need to be flexible on when to use these approaches.
Other gems included:
- Take credit for your accomplishments and never underestimate your abilities.
- You are being paid to share your opinion, so share it!
- You can’t always show what you’re thinking on your face.
- Find a mentor or coach who you can trust.
- Network! Prepare a stakeholder map for yourself, listing influencers, decision-makers and advocates.
- “Build your fortress” by surrounding yourself with people who excel in areas you do not.