Verena Schaad

Verena Schaad
  1. Tell us who you are!

    Verena, economist by training, married, mother of a 13 year old boy, living in Berlin

  2. What is your current job and your title?

    HR Business Partner Pharma EMEA; VP

  3. Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!

    I am an economist by training and before joining the Pharmaceutical Industry I did Consulting for a couple of years. I worked with NGOs and Donor Agencies and was staffing Development Aid Projects, then I joined HR in Pharma to develop people and drive their careers. I had the chance to work in LATM / Mexico for 2 years being responsible for HR in the Region and from there moved to HR for Strategic Marketing and now HR Head for the biggest Commercial Operations area. I like to take on additional assignments and projects and particularly enjoy to work in the area of change and organizational / people agility. I never was part of any internal mentoring program but had the chance to work closely with an external coach over years that was set up more in a mentoring way.

  4. What makes you successful in your business/current job?

    Open-mindedness and curiosity I guess, the pleasure to discover something new every day in people and their behavior and of course a can-do attitude.

  5. What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and privately?

    To be able to develop the job profile “HR Business Partner” independently for myself even before Big Pharma introduced the model.

  6. What skills, experiences or incidences helped you to get you to where you are today? What helped? What hindered?

    Being warm-hearted and with a genuine interest in people is the main driver; business acumen and intuition also plays a major role and helps setting up good stakeholder management. Hindering factor in my world is my disinterest in formal processes.

  7. What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?

    I will try to be helpful and a sparring partner for potential mentees who want to challenge themselves; I hope I can share helpful experiences and insights about working at Bayer.

  8. What can you offer your 1World Mentee?

    The experience of 20+ years of working experience in a big corporation as well as smaller companies and different industries and a genuine interest in people and their development.

  9. What does your ideal 1World Mentee look like?

    Someone who likes to share and discuss points of view and has different approaches to challenges.

  10. What are your aspirations for your 1World Mentee?

    Hopefully be able to help identifying some of the pitfalls on the way of every professional career and help how to address them.

  11. Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?

    Not necessarily but potentially. To my experience the professional world often expects a certain stereotyped behavior (male, western) but is certainly not limited to it. The majority of senior managers I know are open to discover new behaviors brought in by different people (female, other cultures) but are not (yet) actively asking for it. They are willing to destroy the glass ceiling but need to be convinced that being different to the old expected can actually be an advantage.

  12. If you needed to make a powerful statement about the topic “networking” what would it be?

    For those who face difficulties approaching the subject, I would suggest to start networking on a small, voluntary basis with people who you like. There, cooperation and networking is fun and easy. Once having achieved a certain level of professionalism in networking, it is easier to expand to bigger and unknown groups.