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Leadership & Management

Have high expectations and find the courage to speak up, says AbbVie’s VP and General Manager

Health Industry Hub | March 8, 2023 |

Nathalie McNeil, VP and General Manager, AbbVie ANZ joined Health Industry Hub‘s IWD interview series to reflect on how this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme, Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future, is reflective of her leadership style and her personal passion in being a gender equity advocate.

AbbVie has been recognised for several years as one of Australia’s Employers of Choice for Gender Equality by WGEA. The legacy of the company and its leadership are clearly mirrored in these outcomes.

“I take my hat off to Kirsten O’Doherty who really was the fearless leader and a trailblazer. She was one of the fewer female GMs back then and it was her vision anchored around activity based working and flexibility that is very much correlated to the advancement and the recognition that we now receive,” Ms McNeil said.

According to Diversity Council Australia, women’s leadership programs need to be more culturally diverse. Data shows that only 12.8% of female board members are from non-Anglo Celtic origins.

Workplace inclusion is an evolving experience that requires the commitment and contribution of every employee. Ms McNeil shared her advice on how employees can take everyday actions to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace for themselves and their colleagues.

She said “A [workplace] culture where it’s safe to speak up is the way that we move the needle. My advice to all employees is to have high expectations and find the courage [to speak up] when you’re not necessarily in agreement with what your leadership team may be thinking, driving or deploying.

“Great leadership teams, I feel, are the ones that are listening the most closely, but are also the most willing to reflect when things aren’t necessarily going to plan.

“Sometimes there are uncomfortable moments, but that’s okay. It tells me somebody cares enough to have the courage to say ‘I’m not sure I agree with you’. They’re the kind of fierce women and men that I want to be surrounded by. That will keep our movements relevant, progressive, and modern…as a company and as an industry.”

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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