ASIAN WOMEN INPHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES

Women no longer have an ‘if I can’ mindset. Now, it’s more about ‘ how I can’ and it happened because we created a network where we show daily that women are innovating, said Shaherose charania who is presently the CEO of women 2.0 .

Examples of successful women

Men have been dominating the industries since time immemorial but now, the situation has changed to some extent. We ‘women’ have proven our talents in many fields of pharma companies whether it is about manufacturing or quality assurance. Women have also shown their talent in solving financial problems and other businesses. We can prove this statement by the examples of many Asian women like Namita thapar, the chief financial officer at ‘Emcure pharmaceuticals’. In the last 10 years ‘Emcure’ has grown from a Rs. 500 crore company to a Rs. 4,500 crore entity. Functions like quality, finance, marketing, IT and regulatory are great areas for women according to Namita thapar. She has also started a program called ‘PRERNA’ which is aimed at increasing the representation of women in the company and it has doubled to 20 percent in the past four years. By this example, it is very clear that women are very good at almost everything they put their mind into. Other examples like Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, Luhan Yang, chief scientific officer at eGenesis, Jane Griffiths, Mary Rodgers and Zahabiya Khorakiwala are also famous examples of women leading the industries.

A woman has various duties like giving her best as a wife and a mother if she is married and has children while simultaneously performing well if she is an employee in some company. So, it is evident that she has to be a multitasker unlike men who are only obsessed with their jobs. Commitment is the key to success which many women always have. Samina vaziralli who is the executive director of Cipla has made many changes in the way women are taken care of in her organisation. Some of the technical departments at Cipla such as research and development and quality are headed by women. Women constitute around 50 percent of Cipla’s board. By this example, it is very clear that more and more women have started working in the industries and are not facing much gender bias. Women with innovative ideas have emerged as ‘powerful leaders’ despite facing many problems in the industries. Another example of a hard working woman is Mrs. Vinita Gupta, the CEO of Lupin pharmaceuticals. Under her leadership, Lupin has emerged as a global generic player especially in the U.S market and is also a strong player in the paediatric branded market. Women count shows that there is an increase in profit for companies who have over 25% women on their Executive Committees.

Current situation

By the above examples it is clear that women are working in some higher positions in the pharma industries and almost all of them are either heirs or family members of their respective companies but what about millions of others who come from a normal middle- class family? Are they getting opportunities? Are they working in managerial positions? Well, the answer to all of these questions is a ‘yes’ but very few companies in the Asian countries employ women in the higher positions like Lupin Ltd. , Cipla, Biacon Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson and Johnson where they are able to balance the ratio. Sanofi Ltd. which is the local unit of French drug multinational Sanofi SA regularly conducts meetings involving working women from India, Srilanka and Nepal in order to discuss the gender inequality gap especially in the pharma industries. Through its initiatives, Sanofi is making women employees participate in larger corporate roles but still there are some companies which don’t even pay any heed to these gender issues. The female representation in general industry is 15 percent while in pharmaceutical industry it is just 11 percent, according to consulting firm Mercer. The main reason for this is the traditional perception that pharma is a male-dominated sector and some works are not yet considered for women. It is very mandatory for all of us to realize that women are no less than men and with the right programmes, counselling and organisation women too can excel in every area of pharma sector.

Problems faced by women

First of all, let us discuss the major problems faced by women in the industries. It is a known fact that some companies undervalue women and men also say that they are weak and unfit to carry out big roles as they lack some basic writing and good communication skills. Do women have to hear all this stuff? Well, we don’t have to listen to what others say because we have our own priorities in life. In many countries, women face problems primarily due to marriage and maternity issues but nobody can limit the work to women just because of these reasons.

Solutions

A woman has to balance both her professional and family life. If she is more concerned about her husband and children then she should be able to explain to her colleagues about her problems. There are some women who can work for hours with their family support and such ladies should be consistent, intellectual and remember that they have to “ work smart not hard so, smartness is the key to success”. It is always better to learn as much as one can right during the initial days of one’s career. If a woman competes for a high-profile job or position then definitely she would have a lot of peer pressure and needs to put in extra efforts compared to that of men. So, women need to be self- assured, believe in their efforts and take counselling from a good mentor. It is the experience which can make a woman more confident and bold enough to face any challenge and make the most of any opportunity. If all the pharma industries make a special organisation to look after the women employees and support them during the tough times then definitely we can balance the gender ratio overall. Lupin pharmaceuticals has already started such an organisation where they take care of women and give them time to return from maternity leave and also provide encouragement .Companies should also give a chance to work from home during those times. Till now, change has taken place on a very small scale but with large scale changes we would surely get to see many women in the top positions especially in the pharma industries. It is also very important for a woman to work suitably and showcase her talent with elegance because that is what attracts most of the people. We don’t want others to simply murmur that she got there just because she is a woman and so and so. Finally, we can come to a conclusion that everyone has their own role and we all have to work together in order to achieve success.

In conclusion, “no industry or country can reach its full potential until women reach their full potential”.

Thanking You
Sravani

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