Director, Project Management and Site Strategy
Catalent Pharma Solutions San Diego
How has your leadership style changed in the last 2 years due to the pandemic?
I have become more empathetic and more communicative since meeting in person has been prohibitive. Overcommunicating is paramount to ensure people feel safe, and they feel they are part of something bigger than themselves.
In the last 5-10 years more women have moved into leadership. How has your industry changed to support women in leadership?
At Catalent, we foster an environment where individuals are welcomed, appreciated, heard, and respected, where differences and similarities are valued. From our experience, employees with different backgrounds and experiences working together can yield better decisions, driving innovation and excellence in everything we do. Our diversity and inclusion (D&I) council breaks down silos where people feel they can share their ideas freely and take considered risks, often leading to higher contributions. We frequently have in-depth discussions about the direction of the D&I strategy, priority areas and the groundwork that needs to be done across the organization.
The uniqueness of every employee makes Catalent an inclusive place where we not only realize our dreams, but also the dreams of our customers and the patients we serve. Through this effort, we have over 60% of our Site Leadership team positions filled by women (e.g. Director of HR, Director of QA, Director of QC, Director of Analytics, Director of Pharmaceutics). These are all key positions to ensure the site best supports the clients and patients.
What are your biggest challenges moving forward?
The life science industry continues to grow, and it takes a lot of energy and effort in your business to stay relevant and to keep up.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership? How have you overcome it?
I think people still judge a 'book by its cover'. Unfortunately, these superficial judgments can be barriers for females to fill leadership roles. Our D&I programs and culture at Catalent have smashed these barriers. My boss (VP of Product Development) is a woman, and my best/lead direct report is a woman (Manager, Project Mgmt).
What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Never judge a book by its cover. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and network!
What advice would you give someone starting their career and wanting to move into leadership?
Be a leader. Title means nothing without influence. Some of the best leaders have the most influence and leadership.