Interview with a Leading Woman in Science
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with a remarkable woman to discuss her career in science, her journey to where she is now, and the valuable insights she has gained along the way. As the director of eCOA Science at Clario, a leading healthcare research and technology company, she plays a pivotal role in generating the richest clinical evidence in the industry for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device partners. Her team specializes in clinical outcome assessment strategy, providing industry-leading scientific expertise to generate the high-quality data that their studies need. From tailoring studies to reduce patient burden to recommending optimal data capture methodologies for clinical trials, her work ensures that technology and data meet the most stringent quality, regulatory, and safety standards.
An Unexpected Journey to Science
When asked about her journey to a career in science, she revealed that it was not a calling at a young age. Instead, her interest grew over time, leading her to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience. This love for science is what ultimately sparked her passion for the field. She emphasized that one does not necessarily need a ‘calling’ to pursue a career in science, but rather an interest that can grow into a passion.
A Career Filled with Learning
Starting her career as a basic research scientist, she quickly discovered that her passion extended beyond just understanding neuronal activity to a love for learning itself. Embracing opportunities in various specialties, she found herself in unfamiliar territories, but this did not deter her. Her approach to her career journey is summed up by a simple yet powerful mantra from her son’s karate lessons: “Do my best” and “Did my best”. This philosophy reflects her dedication to continuous learning and improvement, despite the challenges she faced.
Navigating Challenges as a Woman in Science
Balancing her career in science with the joys and responsibilities of motherhood presented its own set of challenges for her. However, through the support of her managers and mentors, she found a sense of balance. The valuable lesson she learned was to embrace both her roles as a mother and an employee, allowing them to coexist harmoniously. She emphasized the importance of not shying away from who you are in either role, as it makes her a stronger, more compassionate employee.
Igniting Passion in Her Current Role
For her, passion is contagious. Interactions with passionate colleagues, clients, and teammates are what energize her the most. Her work ethos and style are influenced by her transition from academia to industry, where mentorship and support play a crucial role. She strives to bring the positive attributes of academia into her management approach, focusing on guidance, professional development, and coaching for her team members.
Empowering the Next Generation of Women in Science
Offering advice to young women interested in pursuing a career in science, she emphasized the importance of doing what you love, without the pressure of knowing exactly what career path lies ahead. She reassured that there is no one way to get somewhere and encouraged them to enjoy the journey, as it may lead to surprising destinations. She highlighted the strength in diversity of backgrounds and experiences, and how it contributes to a more creative and forward-thinking team.
In conclusion, her insights offer valuable lessons on passion, perseverance, and embracing one’s true self in the pursuit of a successful and fulfilling career in science. Her journey is a testament to the power of continuous learning, adaptability, and the importance of nurturing a supportive and inclusive environment for the next generation of women in science.