The industry has been thriving thanks to the investment in research and development as well as the focus on the collaboration between industry and academia. The Novartis Campus that opened in Basel, Switzerland, in 2019 is an excellent example of the significant investments being made in the industry. The campus features cutting-edge technology and facilities, including a high-tech laboratory, research library, and digital hub for data analysis and modeling. These investments have resulted in the development of new drugs and treatments for a range of diseases, driving growth in the industry.
The D/A/CH region also leveraged its well-established regulatory framework for the approval and oversight of pharmaceuticals, ensuring that drugs are safe and effective before they are made available to patients. This helped build trust in the industry and promote further growth. An example of a new regulatory framework in the D/A/CH region is the Swiss Therapeutic Products Act (TPA), which was introduced in 2019. The TPA replaced the previous regulatory framework and introduced a range of new measures to improve the safety and efficacy of therapeutic products, including pharmaceuticals.
The growth of the industry has not only created a high demand for skilled professionals, but has also reinforced the need for diversity in thought, which has created space for greater gender equality. The growing recognition of women, and the value they bring to the workplace, has allowed so many to finally assume decision-making and leadership roles, allowing those in these roles, and those working toward them, the opportunity to make a true impact.
The Swiss government’s support for promoting diversity and inclusion has also been a driving factor in the integration and embrace of female contributions. With the implementation of new initiatives—such as gender quotas on boards of directors and funding for programs that support women in the workplace—the D/A/CH region continues to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality.
With these recent developments, companies are recognizing the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce and are actively seeking out female talent. As a result, we’ve seen a rapid growth for ISPE’s Women in Pharma® initiative, as women across the D/A/CH region are seeking networking and mentoring opportunities to continue to advance themselves.
Beyond Women in Pharma®, there are now more events and organizations focused on supporting women in the industry, which has allowed me to connect with other women and to learn from their experiences.
The growth of the pharma industry and the changing nature of the corporate landscape has led to the embrace of a new concept: the workforce of the future. This concept encompasses the evolving nature of work and the skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The investment in research and development and the emergence of the workforce of the future are exciting advances that offer many opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups.
Digital literacy, lifelong learning, flexibility and adaptability, collaboration and teamwork, and emotional intelligence are all key characteristics of the workforce of the future, and all delete of which are promoted by ISPE Women in Pharma® programming. As a member of the Women in Pharma® International Steering Committee and active Emerging Leader, I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
Though there is still so much work to do as it applies to accelerated equality for women and other marginalized groups, I am optimistic about the future of our industry, and specifically the promising developments that lie within the D/A/CH region’s workforce of the future.