Takeda is proud of the number of women who help drive the company forward in its mission to strive towards better health and a brighter future for people worldwide. In conjunction with our participation in the “Women in Science” luncheon during HUBweek, which took place on October 10 in Cambridge, Mass., some of these fearless females took a few minutes to tell us how they define leadership, mentorship and what they’ve learned over the years.
Amy Atwood, Head of Communications, Vaccine Business Unit
One of my mentors showed me that the best leaders lead with both their head and their heart. Something I’ve learned is that we are often our own worst critics and can talk ourselves out of going for new opportunities. That’s why I tell people that I mentor how important it is to talk to everyone you can, regardless of their industry or role. Everyone’s journey is unique and hearing about how someone else got to where they are could help you see opportunities you may not have considered before.
Elena Cant, Vice President, Head of Global Commercial, Vaccine Business Unit
As a mentor, the discussions I have with mentees help me to reflect on my own experiences and also force me to think outside of the box of those experiences. And this of course translates into my own growth as a leader. Also thanks to my mentees I can better understand my subordinates and other colleagues who are at different stages in their career and come from an environment and experiences that differ from mine. This improves my ability to relate to and manage others in a more effective way.
Liz Lewis, Chief Counsel and Head of Patient Advocacy, Global Oncology Business Unit
I am so lucky to have had several mentors who helped shape me into the professional I am today. They taught me incredibly valuable skills like creating effective teams, turning underperformers into stars and jumping feet first into a leadership role within an organization. But beyond these important skills, they showed me how to become an empathetic leader, someone who brings out the best in others. The one piece of advice that has served me well is: focus on the outcome and the journey. Your career, like life, doesn’t always follow a linear path and sometimes the most unexpected events can lead you to a totally unexpected destination.
Kelly Page, Head, Oncology Business Unit, Germany
I had two women who were great mentors for me. The first was my high school chemistry teacher – she inspired me to become a chemist. The other was our former head of oncology, who was such a strong, compassionate leader who taught me to always try to do the right thing. I truly believe -and advise others around me – to do something you love. Do something you are passionate about. Don’t do what you are expected to do or where you earn the most. It is much easier to do well and be successful when there is a passion behind it.
Fatima Scipione, Senior Director, Patient Advocacy at Takeda Oncology
Whenever a colleague asks me for advice, I remind them of something I heard early in my career — “Go to the Balcony” and look down at yourself. How are you showing up? How do you want to be perceived and remembered? One of the best mentors I had was someone I worked with in a couple of different roles and she showed up. She led. She got it done. She was driven by something beyond the business and that is something I bring to my job every day.
Latarsha Stewart, Head of Compliance, Global Oncology Business Unit
When I was just getting started in this industry, I had a mentor who saw potential in me beyond my initial job and helped guide me to what I’m doing today. Today I try to do the same for younger professionals, who, like I once was, are new to the profession and need a fresh set of eyes and a sounding board. What I love about that is that it’s a two-way benefit. They learn from my experiences, and they remind me to stay curious about new ways to approach situations.
Perrin Wilson, Senior Director, Business Development
In addition to being a formal mentor, I have noticed that I can have an impact on those around me through my day-to-day interactions. A positive attitude, enthusiasm for a project or even a thank you goes a long way. It reminds me that I am not only a leader when I am in front of a room or leading a discussion or meeting, I am a leader when walking through the halls or when grabbing lunch at the café and how I conduct myself in those situations has just as big an impact on the teams I lead.
Karen Wolf, Senior Director, Drug Development Management, Research & Development
Throughout my career, I have had mentors who have shared some very common traits. First, they were naturally gifted at resilience. Second, they made commitments and followed through with them. Finally, they had a pragmatic approach to getting things done; they were flexible, they adjusted and they found alternatives to make progress. The thread that tied all of these traits together, was a passionate commitment to a larger mission.
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