iSpeak Blog

20 Important Quotes That Will Change Your Company Culture: Part Two - ISPE’s Women in Pharma Leaders Focus on Leadership Agility and Inclusivity at the 2023 ISPE Pharma 4.0 and Annex 1 Conference

20 Important Quotes That Will Change Your Company Culture: Part Two-  ISPE’s Women in Pharma© Leaders Focus on Leadership Agility and Inclusivity at the 2023 ISPE Pharma 4.0 and Annex 1 Conference

ISPE’s Women in Pharma® community prides itself on endorsing equal opportunity for equal effort. Through global and regional programming, the community creates opportunities to shift company cultures and mindsets to create a more inclusive and equitable industry, where diversity of thought thrives.

The 2023 ISPE Pharma 4.0™ and Annex 1 Conference’s Women in Pharma panel, “Leadership Agility: Adapting to the Evolving Landscape of the Industry,” featured five influential female leaders who provided insights, advice, and authentic reflections on leadership agility, innovation, talent management, and leadership and collaboration in the ever-evolving pharmaceutical landscape.

In the spirit of our fast-moving industry, here are the 20 most powerful key takeaways:

Leadership Agility

“Leadership agility is the ability to anticipate, adapt, and drive change.” – Vivianne Arencibia

“Leadership agility is the ability to anticipate and adapt to uncertainty and change. It is about delivering results quickly with the least possible friction. We need to act as fast mutators.” – Vanda Vieira Vicente

“Leadership agility requires hope and clarity. You must have a good vision and a good roadmap. This requires agility and the ability to adapt to the regulatory environment. This is an opportunity: stay informed and proactive. Invest in regulatory talent. Combine this with science knowledge. Help your associates navigate along the way. – Yvonne Duckworth

“You must have a proactive approach. Many times, we’re not asking the why. We can take strides to connect with regulators before guidelines come out. That’s what we’re doing with ISPE – we think about how we want to shape the future of the industry. Think in a strategic way to digitalize. We can solve problems before they occur and make that part of the culture and environment.” – Teresa Minero

On Innovation

“It is important to make teams comfortable with change. Create an environment that encourages learning. Pharma 4.0® is all about interconnectivity and data, data, data. We must keep everyone moving forward and advancing the technology.” – Vivianne Arencibia

“We need to learn to fail. Innovation is about failing. We need to change that in our organizational behaviors. As more seasoned leaders retire, we must train young people to get more comfortable with failure. If you innovate, you fail. You must do that to survive and grow.” – Teresa Minero

“Prioritize the space for innovation and creative thinking…and agility. It is paramount to make room in our agendas to stop, think strategically, and interact with other colleagues to share and explore new ideas.” – Vanda Vieira Vicente

“It is important to ensure gender diversity in the design of experiments. For example, chronic pain is experienced mostly by women, but 80% of the research is conducted in male models. We are currently limited with the representation of the patient population.” – Vanda Vieira Vicente

“With the pandemic, everyone had to come together quickly to pivot and adapt. We must remember what we did as an industry and continue to apply that mindset. – Vivianne Arencibia

“Humanity is improving and changing when challenges or crises occur. Many times, we forget what we learned.” – Teresa Minero

On Talent Management

“In my experience, I really see more and more value in the soft skills. The World Economic Forum analyzes the areas in which we must be successful in the next decade. What came out is that of the 10 skills cited, four are hard skills. The other ones are soft skills. These include creative thought, problem-solving, and having an entrepreneurial approach. Always ask yourself: what can I do to make my work better? Other cited soft skills include the] ability to work in different cultures, effective communication skills, and openness to change.” – Teresa Minero

“From a talent management perspective, it’s important to know the needs of your employees. Be creative and find new ways to do things.” – Yvonne Duckworth

“We need to nurture diversity and differences. Our mentees may naturally evolve. We must understand the needs of today’s employees.” – Yvonne Duckworth

“Create momentum for one-on-one interactions. To retain talent, we need to go beyond salary. If we only rely on money, we will lose them sooner or later. We need to give a good work experience – every day, delivering our best.” – Vanda Vieira Vicente

“The need for connection is paramount. We need to connect with associates and the broader organization. We need to understand their needs: what keeps them motivated and engaged.” – Vivianne Arencibia

“The challenge with the remote working environment is the knowledge transfer. It is more challenging now, but we as leaders must do that. We need to know our associates as people. This brings out the best in keeping individuals.” – Vivianne Arencibia

On Leadership and Collaboration in Changing Times

“Be creative. Find alternatives. If this is how we’d typically do it, let’s find another way.” – Yvonne Duckworth

“We need to work with regulators on scenario planning. We took it for granted in the past. The pandemic taught us that you’ve got to plan for uncertainty. Anything can happen in nature. We have an obligation: drive for change and improve supply chain resilience.” – Vivianne Arencibia

“We need the willingness to engage in scenario planning. We need to share, harmonize, and standardize. The technology is there. Now we need to act.” – Teresa Minero

“Understanding what the market needs are is important for us. It’s also important to understand different cultures and the expectations for healthcare. It requires us to think broadly, to think as a global organization. There’s no better learning opportunity than what we just experienced with the pandemic, where you had one major health crisis impacting the entire world. Everyone was affected. Whether you were rich, poor, in an advanced or in an emerging country, it didn’t make a difference. The industry had to come together to adapt. Leaders had to adapt. And this led to stronger collaboration.” – Vivianne Arencibia

Session leader:

Yara Ahmad Almouti, Sr.
CEO and Projects Director
Agon for Training and Consulting


Vivianne J. Arencibia
Vice President, Global Quality Systems and Compliance
Vanda Vieira Vicente
R&D and Senior Projects Manager
Exeltis Turkey
Teresa Minero
Founder & CEO
LifeBee - Digitalizing Life Sciences
Yvonne Duckworth, PE
Fellow - Digital Technology, Associate

Women in Pharma® Events