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Leadership & Management

Organon MD shares how women can find their voice and gain a seat at the leadership table

Health Industry Hub | August 30, 2021 |
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Leadership & Management: Welcome to Health Industry Hub’s Women in Leadership Series – connecting, engaging and empowering women in the Pharma, MedTech and Biotech sectors by celebrating and sharing the journey of inspirational and passionate women leaders in the industry.

In an interview with Health Industry Hub, Nirelle Tolstoshev, Managing Director of Organon Australia, talks about the essentials of developing her leadership brand and the inspiration she draws on in the face of challenges and setbacks.

We also dive deeper into why the broader healthcare sector remains ‘delivered by women and led by men’, the key levers of change to close the gender pay gap, and Nirelle’s advice for women in the pharma sector who want to find their voice and gain a seat at the leadership table.

Nirelle said “Giving advice [to women who want to find their voice and gain a seat at the leadership table] is like the advice to my earlier self in some ways. The first one is to believe in yourself. You can do it. I truly believe our industry is full of capable, talented women and men. The next generation of leaders is amongst us, some of them just don’t realise it yet.

“Secondly, focus on lateral moves and not just promotions in gaining broad experience to set yourself up for future roles. There’s a historical pathway in pharma that you have to go up, but I believe that you need to go sideways and zigzag a lot to set yourself up for future roles.

“Another is to bounce back when you don’t get that role you wanted. It can be a good thing even if you don’t realise it at the time. You will learn a lot and grow.

“If you have bold aspirations, share them with your leaders and proactively seek the mentorship you deserve. Sharing this with your leaders and your network will really help it happen.

“And the last one is as you progress in your career pay it forward. I’ve tapped many men and women on the shoulder to say ‘Hey, you are really capable. Or, hey, you might not think you’ve got all the skills for this role here, but I think you should throw your hat in the ring. Hey, you got it.’ This helps people believe in themselves and be confident. We have so many talented people and untapped capability yet to emerge in the industry.”


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