Last Word

Contributed by:

Dagmar Rosa-Björkeson, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

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Defining Your Career Path

Dagmar Rosa-Björkeson, chief strategy and corporate development officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, gave the keynote address at the BioNJ Inspiring Women in Stem meeting, held in December 2018. PharmaVOICE caught up with her after the event.

PV: What advice do you have for women who are interested in advancing their careers?

Rosa-Björkeson: First, we are all responsible for our careers and for finding a path that is rewarding and meaningful. Second, along the way we can influence our corporate cultures and create space, not only for ourselves, but for others who we must bring along. And three, as leaders, innovation and value creation are imperative to our ability to drive success.

PV: Are there any guiding principles that have guided you along your career journey?

Rosa-Björkeson: There are four principles that have guided my career in the pharmaceutical industry. First, is to make sure I continue to innovate and create value in what I do. Next, I strive to create the right environment within our teams. The third principle is focused on inclusion in our environment. Lastly, as a leader I need to develop a clear voice and a brand that the company stands for.

The concept of innovating and bringing value is innate to what I love to do — I love to create something new or improve how we do things. I enjoy the creativity in teams. Early on in my career, I found I have a talent to spot an idea or connect dots across ideas to bring to life a concept that furthers the strategy of my organization.

Creating a team culture where individuals can bring their best selves each day has been my approach to driving creativity, innovation, and value. The culture created must have inclusion of diverse backgrounds and points of view at its core as these are key enablers to innovation. Lastly, our approach to teams, culture, and adding value becomes a unique brand and voice within our organizations.

PV: Why are these principles important?

Rosa-Björkeson: For me, these principles reflect a way to bring value to the work we do and at the same time have a positive impact on the environment in which we function. This benefits not only an individual but creates a path for others. These principles help create and develop a clear voice for ourselves — a voice that reflects our values as an organization.

PV: What advice do you have for women who are starting out in the industry?

Rosa-Björkeson: My advice is to focus and work in an area where you have a connection and some passion, so your strengths can shine through. Build from there, and do not be afraid to take risks. Identify leaders who you admire, and seek out their advice and, perhaps, mentorship.

PV: How have you managed work-life balance?

Rosa-Björkeson: I believe balance in life is important, although true balance may not be apparent at every moment. The balance I seek is more about the values that guide my life both at work and at home, and how best each one of us lives the values that are unique to us as individuals over the arc of one’s career.(PV)

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BioNJ Inspiring Women in STEM Conference

More than 100 women with careers spanning all aspects of science, technology, engineering and math attended BioNJ’s fourth annual Inspiring Women in STEM conference in December 2018 at Sanofi’s U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, N.J. The meeting provided practical advice on effective ways to navigate your career and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of successful women who have traveled remarkable journeys.

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