A Women’s Leadership Panel Discussion & Dinner
Panelists Included (in order as shown above):
Dr. Judy Staveley – Program Director Bioprocessing Technology, Assistant Professor, Frederick Community College
Shiva Fritsch – Sr. Vice President HR, RegenxBIO
Katherine A. Sacksteder, Ph.D – COO, Benevir Biopharm Inc.
Sia Anagnostou – Senior Director of Corporate Development, Immunomic Therapeutics
Marcella Goodnight – Director, Global Technical Operations, AstraZeneca Biologics
Moderator: Shanna Falcone – Senior Associate, Director Strategic Accounts, CRBWhat better way to kick off the event than an introduction from the event sponsor, Alison Demarest, Principal at Meridian BioGroup, who welcomed the crowd and impressed the importance of supporting such a community. Alison stands as a role model for other companies as se not only supports Women in Pharma, but hires them too. Meridian BioGroup employees are two-thirds women, which is a rare occurrence in the biopharma world.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?All panelists seemed to agree that the work-life balance is a struggle, and one that will probably never go away because it’s near impossible to be perfect at both. Some helpful tips were shared though.
- Be present, whether you’re with your family or at work, and be clear on what’s important to you – Shiva
- “Just like your professional network, you have to work at your personal network to help out at home.” said Sia, “There is both internal and social guilt that women often deal with around balancing family vs work. A good network and support system can help that too.”
- “Time management is the key to balance. Discipline and knowing what’s important to you at the time is key to that” – Dr. Judy
Success comes by taking your career in your hands.
- Many panelists, including Katie, Sia got their first jobs by writing letters to dozens of CEO’s.
- “Be curious and proactive. Ask around and look outside your departments to learn about other careers.” said Shiva, who moved from the bench into HR while early in her career at HGS.
- Katie worked in almost all aspects of the business in a small biotech company which gave her a well rounded background. Her advice is to not be afraid to move on from a job once you’ve learned all you can there.
- After 100’s of interviews Marcella noticed that the women she interviewed almost always felt they were 100% qualified for the job the were interviewing for, where men often felt they were 75% qualified but were confident they could grow into it. She encouraged women to learn from that and not be afraid to take more risk.
Networking is an important part of your career growth.
- “You need to work at your network, a good network that you can access is critical to being an entrepreneur” – Sia
- “Always keep your mind open to who you meet, you never know when they will be relevant to your career” – Katie
- Dr Judy recommended that everyone should take advantage of the organizations around you that foster helpful communities like ISPE, BioBuzz, Academy of Science.
- Be open to men and women mentors who can teach you a lot and different things – Dr. Judy
- Mentoring doesn’t have to be a formal process, it’s about learning and fostering relationships that you can access when you need them. – Sia
Women can be their worst enemies.
- “There will be people, men and women, who will try to hold you back or be competitive – focus on your goals, and just always try to be supportive of others.” – Dr. Judy
- “Women are often hard on themselves, therefore they are often hard on one another. I focus on being supportive and encourage others to as well.” – Shiva
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