May / June 2022

Women in Pharma® Editorial: Risks & Rewards

Jennifer Lauria Clark, CPIP
Women in Pharma® Editorial: Jennifer Lauria Clark, CPIP

As a part of taking care of yourself, one must risk something. For me, taking a risk can be scary. I get nervous, anxious, and, at times, begin to doubt myself. Then I remember why I’m taking a risk and what the potential rewards will be, and confidently move forward with my decision.

In our new working world after two years of the pandemic, we feel we are risking something every time we leave our homes. We are not sure if we have our mask sand sanitizer, and we often wonder, “will they require me to wear a mask or sit six feet apart from someone?” We also probably feel like we are taking a risk with the new app we downloaded to help us be more productive. Who wants to agree to those terms and conditions when it could backfire on us?

However, taking risks can be healthy if approached with the right mindset. In risk analysis, risk is defined as the probability of an event occurring combined with the potential impact of the event. Taking a risk makes us better people, leaders, and employees (and volunteers). I was once separated into a group of three by our former CEO. I was quite nervous as my colleagues were all huddled together at other tables. Then, our CEO announced to the team, “These three are the risk takers. We need more risk takers to move our company forward.”

Pharma Risk-Taking

I am in awe of those taking risks in technology, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. The advancements that have been made over the past decade to bring patient treatments and cures for a better life are astounding. Who would have thought we would have gone from dreaming of a cure for hypotonia (floppy baby syndrome) to being able to treat patients with Zolgensma, the gene therapy medication, to prolong and save babies’ lives?

Thank you to those risk takers in our industry who are fighting for more research-based programs to advance emerging technologies and challenge the status quo. The people and organizations who take a chance on someone’s new idea, invention, cure, or new process are the bedrock of innovation in our industry. Regardless of the outcome, we cannot succeed unless we try. In today’s technological society and mindset, we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. However, taking a risk to break new ground comes from within our own ideology, our thought, and our creativity. These attributes are what truly set people apart from one another!

Thank you to those risk takers in our industry who are fighting for more research-based programs to advance emerging technologies and challenge the status quo.

Participate In ISPE

As humans, the biggest risk we can take is to do nothing, sitting idly by and watching the world move forward. Be an agent of change. ISPE gives us the tools we need to take risks and creates an environment where we can collaborate in Communities of Practice and build relationships with people through volunteer opportunities to advance our curious minds. Please be curious, and please take a moment to take a risk: What is the worst that can happen?

I challenge you as you read this editorial to think about how you can take that extra step in your professional or personal lives to not only make yourself better, but to also advance our industry in some way that makes a difference. If you have an idea, go for it. Life is short, times are tough, and success feels good every time you achieve it.

Take a risk and join our ISPE Women in Pharma® community to learn more about yourself, the industry , and how to improve the working world.

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