Tell us who you are!
My name is Darara Dibabu, and am originally from Ethiopia. I’ve been lucky to have lived in Zambia, India and now in the United States. I’m now a U.S citizen but really consider myself a global citizen. My education background is in the life sciences – Biology & Neuroscience. I enjoy reading (adventure, spy novels, fiction, history), movies, traveling and playing golf! My motto is “work hard – play hard”.
Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!
I’ve been in the Pharmaceutical industry my entire career, working across several roles, ranging from sales, management and brand management/marketing. I’ve worked within the U.S market and various global roles. I really enjoy the responsibility of commercializing and making important, life-saving drugs available to those that need them. I started my career in sales working at Eli Lilly. I then moved to Aventis (Sanofi today) to launch Lantus, a once-a-day insulin. After that, I joined Schering Plough’s oncology division. At Schering Plough (later acquired by Merck MSD), I had the opportunity to work in both Hematologic and Solid tumors, including, melanoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, mesothelioma & sarcoma. After 9 years at Merck, I decided to join Bayer, where I currently work, to launch Stivarga in colorectal cancer and GIST. The most memorable projects that come to mind are the three launches that I’ve been lucky to be a part of.
What does “Social Capital” mean to you?
My definition of social capital is the network of people you know both professionally and socially, who you can access when needed to advance your career or social standing.
What makes you successful in life/current job?
I believe the reason I’m successful is due to 3 things:
- Competence – I try to make sure I know what I must do, and do it well
- Creativity – I’m naturally creative and use this asset to create effective solutions
- Likeability – I try to form win-win relationships with co-workers so that we can accomplish our goals in a collaborative manner
What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and personally?
My biggest professional achievement is having 3 launches in oncology. Many marketers don’t even have 1 launch in their careers, but I’ve been lucky to have three.
What skills, experiences or incidences helped you to get you to where you are today? What hindered?
As I mentioned before, the most important reason for my success is being competent in my work. In addition to that I believe that I had a network of mentors, sponsors and advocates who helped me reach different levels of my career. Lastly, I had a goal at each step in my career as to where I want to go next and made sure to work with my network of support and my immediate manager to ensure that I fulfilled the requirements and acquired the core skills to be able to move forward.
What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?
I hope to be able to mentor and help a young lady achieve her goals in her career.
What can you offer your 1World Mentee?
I think the best thing I can offer is to share my experience navigating the corporate world. I can be a sounding board for a young mentee who seeks advice on her career and goal setting/achievement. I also think that I can act as a confidential supporter who can help in subjective areas such as confidence, creativity, problem solving, networking & interpersonal relationships.
What does your ideal 1World Mentee look like?
My ideal mentee would be ambitious, coachable, ready to learn, proactive and also inquisitive. I appreciate people that question the status quo and have a natural desire to learn.
What are your aspirations for your 1World Mentee?
I would like to think that I would play a part in the success of my mentee. I want my mentee to feel that she is just as capable, talented and equipped to pursue any career goals that she wants to work hard to obtain.
Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?
There is a glass ceiling that is systemic in most societies because they tend to be male dominated and women globally are beginning to challenge traditional roles and are assuming roles traditionally thought of as for “males”. There is also a glass ceiling of sorts in the minds of women, who limit themselves because they don’t believe certain goals/positions are unattainable. I really believe that in order to break corporate and societal glass ceilings, young girls and women need to break the glass ceilings they’ve set for themselves. This is an area I think I can help a mentee.