“Several weeks ago, Kite Pharma hosted an ISPE Women in Pharma panel discussion at their Santa Monica headquarters. The topic of discussion was “Your Next Career Move: Small Biotech vs. Big Pharma.” The night kicked off with Kite’s Allison Ferris introducing the ISPE LA Chapter's Women in Pharma Chair, Thai Nguyen. Then the evening’s moderator, Veronica Ponce de Leon, introduced the panelists Binh Le, Head of Strategy & Business Operations, Engineering at Amgen, and Monica Alfaro Welling, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Altheln Inc., to dive into the night's discussion topic. Both women provided tremendous insight for the young college and newly-employed majority of the audience.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, several recommendations were made that struck attendees. When first starting out in the industry, they recommended working for a small company to quickly gain experience experience wearing multiple hats. However, if one is looking for more work-life balance and stability, opt for a larger company. Monica advised examining the company structure when looking at a new company to see if they have women on the board. Also to even take it a step further and go out to dinner with your prospective boss and examine his relationships. Despite what route you take, it’s important to remember to be open, take risks, and dismantle biases — the future is bright!”
- Nicole Haddad, Validation PM and Regional Lead at Delta PM