Tell us who you are!
My name is Vanessa Lemarié, I am 36 years old, and I currently live and work in Germany. I’ve been working in pharmaceutical commercial operations for the last 12 years in varying positions both Global, Regional, and Local, and I still love what I do! I’ve had the opportunity to get to know several therapeutic areas in the course of my career so far, both in general and specialty pharmaceuticals, in different countries, and all this experience has reinforced me that health is the sector of choice for me. I am currently “close to home”, geographically speaking, and busy building and securing the ophthalmology business for Bayer in Germany. On a personal note, I am married, and my husband and I are proud parents to a son who’ll soon turn five years old (this is the moment when I pause and wonder – yes, time does fly by quicker now!).
What is your current job and your title?
Head of Marketing Ophthalmology, Bayer Vital (Germany). Everything having to do with building and securing the business, promoting the product and its adequate use, to healthcare providers.
What does “Social Capital” mean to you?
It’s self-evident to me that I should share the insights I have been fortunate enough to gather and pass them on to others, who in turn will use them (or decide not to!) for themselves, then pass their own insights on to others. I hope I can contribute – and , on a more personal, egoistical level: I believe that you do reap what you sow.
What makes you successful in your business/current job?
I believe I am a good mix of personal conviction, empathy, and willingness to do what it takes.
In the end, what I do in my current job is much like what I’ve learned to do in the jobs prior : find out what the real challenge is first, then go about solving it in rallying people behind a common vision, translated into actions that are concise enough for people to recognize themselves in what they do. For the rest, there is no replacement for hard work, and I seem to be quite good at finding the people who want to do and will do the job.
What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and privately?
Well, there are a number of things I am proud of having accomplished so far, but…
I have a satisfying career – and a satisfying personal life at the same time!
Both may not be in perfect balance at every single time on any single day, but overall I think I manage quite fine.
To me, that’s the biggest achievement!
What can you offer your 1World Mentee?
Openness, experience in different work settings within a large company, insights into all sorts of “work-life-balance discussions” in the professional and personal context, empathy, willingness to share contacts and introduce you to Bayer as a company.
What does your ideal 1World Mentee look like?
Curious, involved, committed, clever, creative.
Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?
I believe the “glass ceiling” is a helpful metaphor to show that female professionals are more likely to encounter difficulties and doubts just before or at the time at which they could make a professional advance into Upper Middle or Higher Management Positions. But:
I am not convinced that the ceiling is real in that women are not generally accepted – in the European and U.S. culture at least; I am less familiar with other parts of the world – as just as competent as men and/or promoted to positions of high standing. But there is a barrier to female professionals, moving up the career ladders as quickly or forcefully as many of our male counterparts is not the reality.
We could call that the glass ceiling. Breaking “it” can simply mean refocusing my objectives and expectations, or tackling a more formal, administrative challenge.
In parallel, finding sponsors for female professionals is a necessity as well!
If you needed to make a powerful statement about the topic “networking” what would it be?
Networking is not an obligatory round of business dinner – but certainly means that you need to identify people who can advance you. Connect with them, as well as advance those you would like to see grow further.