Although it is always important to reflect on the contributions of women, we are placing a special emphasis this month on highlighting the women on and off of #TeamHPNE who are making an impact around them.
Continuing that theme, we spoke with three of our team members who are helping to shape the future of the organization. We spoke about their careers, their roles at HPNE, their leadership styles and the biases they have experienced in their career.
Director of Continuous Improvement
Katie has worked at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for the past 18 years, mostly in Quality Control Microbiology and Quality Assurance roles.
Currently, Katie is the Director of Continuous Improvement at High Purity New England, and has been working here for over four years. As the Director of Continuous Improvement, her focus is to implement changes, efficiencies, and improvements that help the present and future of HPNE become more streamlined, more productive, and more compliant.
A previous female manager named Kim has been one of Katie’s greatest inspirations throughout her career. She describes Kim as being an incredible leader who was always calm, collected, and well respected by everyone within the company. As for biases experienced in her career in regards to her gender, Katie recounted situations where a previous boss would plan event outings with male direct reports without inviting any of the females.
As a leader, Katie has always found that recognition, praise, and acknowledgement is a great motivating factor for her team. She believes that when people know that you appreciate their hard work and are grateful for their contribution, it helps support a great team mentality.
Lessons Katie would share with aspiring female leaders: “Throughout my career I have learned that one should speak up for themselves and never be afraid to do the right thing.”
Operations Manager, FlexConnexx®
Shannon originally fell into manufacturing when a temp agency put her in a quality control lab just after she finished her undergraduate degree. Since then, she has worked in manufacturing in multiple different industries and in nearly every possible functional area (except sales!).
Throughout her life, Shannon’s biggest female inspiration has been her family. She feels blessed to have grown up in a family full of strong, independent women - including her mother, grandmother, great-aunt, aunts, and cousins - all of which she credits for inspiring her at some point in her life.
Shannon is currently the Operations Manager of FlexConnexx®, where her leadership strategies revolve around building strong relationships, effective communication, and transparency. In her experience, she has found that when we break down functional silos and thoroughly understand how we each contribute to the business objectives we can achieve success and have fun doing it! Through leading the FlexConnexx® team, Shannon is helping to forge the future of HPNE, and the way in which the biopharma industry approaches single-use assemblies.
Lessons Shannon would share with aspiring female leaders: “There are three things I have learned in my career that I believe can be very beneficial: 1) approaching leadership with a servant’s heart will help you build strong relationships that are critical to success in any situation, 2) don’t lose sight of yourself while focusing on others – speak up and reach for what you want or need, and 3) develop a trusted group of confidants – a small number of people with different backgrounds and experience who can help you reflect honestly on challenges and find your path forward.”
Human Resources Manager
Jen’s career has spanned from positions of trainer, instructional designer, project manager, and human resources, allowing her to gain a deeper understanding of businesses and their employees, perspectives she attributes to being an asset as an HR professional.
Female leaders that have inspired Jen include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maya Angelou, Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, and Sara Blakely. However, her biggest inspiration has been Melinda Gates, author of “The Moment to Lift”, philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for gender equity.
Jen has been at HPNE for two years and is currently the human resources manager. In order to lead her team effectively, Jen believes in communicating openly and often, and giving people the space and opportunity they need to thrive and succeed. Her leadership style prioritizes building strong relationships and having fun with teammates even when doing serious work, which allows her to establish trust with teammates and allow them to feel supported.
In her previous workplace experiences, Jen has experienced biases in the that she has treated as both learning experiences and educating opportunities. There has even been a point in her career where she was denied a position solely based on gender. Never allowing those experiences to hinder her professional growth, Jen is now critical in shaping the future of HPNE through recruiting, onboarding, benefits administration, compliance, and lending an ear to employees.
Lessons Jen would share with aspiring female leaders: “I feel like I could write a book about the lessons I have learned at HPNE and throughout my career. The ones I think are most important today are: be empathetic, know yourself and be aware of your limitations and realize that your limitations will change throughout your career, work on your emotional intelligence, include (and be inclusive of) others - even if you want to do it yourself, and don’t be afraid of change even if it is a big one. Finally, be willing to learn something new and to change your new circumstances. As leaders we always have to adjust to new ideas, new times, new employees, new leaders, and even to a global pandemic.”
HPNE would like to thank Katie, Shannon, and Jen not only for their dedication and hard work, which they demonstrate daily, but also for their ability to be strong role models to female members of our team, and HPNE as a whole.
To learn more about industry leaders outside our team, check out last weeks article here.