How was your career path to reach your current position? What were the main decisions that lead you to your current positions?
I started my career in a classical way as a researcher in the lab. During my career journey it has always been important to not only focus on my current work but working and thinking out of the box and speaking up. With this I was exposed to leadership teams which allowed me to move forward.
Why did you start your career in the field of healthcare?
To be very honest – I started there just by chance. As a chemist, I sent out applications to different companies in healthcare but also in chemistry. Today, I am happy and proud that I work in the field of healthcare!
What are/were the main challenges you encountered as a woman pursuing your career?
Today it is less a challenge than it was 10 or 15 years ago. At that time the pharmaceutical industry was dominated by men. They were less used to work with or for women. This is much easier today.
There is quite a high proportion of women working in the healthcare industry. Why do you think there are so few female founders, female investors, female heads of departments in laboratories and hospitals and in healthcare-related management positions?
I do not think that this is only true for the field of healthcare. It is all about this typical men/women topic. Women need to ask themselves if they are willing to fight for their ideas and with this if they are willing to leave their comfort zone. If so, today is the best time to go for it. They should not use the classical excuse like taking care of the family. They need to “encourage” their partners to also take care of the family.
What traits do you think you have, that helped you reach your current position? What are your strengths, internal and external?
When a new position was offered to me I did not allow myself to think whether I would be capable to do the job. I just took over the new position. Whenever I had a chance to get in contact with a leadership team I did so – to be visible and well known. And I have (hopefully!) always been authentic…
What role did or do have mentors or supporters during your career?
Mentors are extremely helpful and important! Especially those in leadership teams. For some years, I had a very helpful mentor who supported and challenged me a lot. Today, I am more interested in a reverse mentor as I would love to learn more from young people.
If you were about to pursue your career from the beginning or found a venture right now - which field/trend/technology would you look into?
It should be a digital one. In terms of healthcare I would double-check where niches with respect to patient self-management or patient support are.
What do you think is needed to support women entrepreneurship in healthcare?/What do you think needs to change in society?
Again, I would not restrict it to healthcare. Women and their partners must have the same idea with respect to their family life – how to share the family work.
Do you have any message you want to share with other women thinking about pursuing an innovative idea in the field of healthcare?
You always start with an idea. Next step would be to answer the question if there is a business case. If the answer is positive, start working on it. Good Luck!
If you want to know more about Gabriele’s carrer journey, visit her linkedIn.