Novartis: International Women’s Day 2020

Originally published on

To celebrate International Women’s Day we explore how an inclusive environment that values unique and curious minds helps everyone be inspired to innovate every day.

At Novartis, our people are exceptional. They do amazing work every day to reimagine medicine and improve the lives of patients all over the world. We want to build an inclusive environment that values these unique and curious minds, where everyone is inspired to innovate every day by this shared purpose to reimagine medicine.

That’s why we’re committed to building an inclusive and equitable workplace that looks beyond gender and empowers all of our associates to follow their dreams.

Here are some of their stories:

Maryam is a cognitive robotics expert at Novartis whose inspiration as a teenager came from a conversation with her father in the supermarket and who now shares her passion for IT with her sons:

I think one advice I would give to myself, a younger self of me, would be don’t listen to all those negative comments around you being a female. I’m here, and I’m present…And it doesn’t matter if I’m a female or a male. To me it doesn’t make a difference, as long as I can do a good job.

As a young girl growing up in Switzerland, Simone always knew she wanted to be a scientist. This determination and her innate sense of curiosity has driven Simone to work at the very frontier of transformative innovation at Novartis, overseeing more than 70 scientists at our new manufacturing facility for cell and gene therapy in Stein, Switzerland:

In my role there’s not very many female production heads, so for a long time, I was one of very few women. Now it’s interesting, we are a very female leadership team…I’m proud to be a part of the team that made it work.

Jessica’s passion and expertise lies in machine learning and data analytics, which she applies to support chemists during the drug discovery phase.

While at times, she feels that as a woman, she has had to prove herself in this field, the most important thing for her is not her gender but her dedication to learning and applying her knowledge to push the boundaries of what humans coupled with technology can do in order to have a real impact on society:

Sometimes I have the impression I have to prove myself more than a man. I have to prove what I’m doing. I have to prove what I think and in order to let them really believe in my skills and in my knowledge I have the impression I have to push more.

At Novartis, we’re continuing to push together to overcome these barriers and remove bias so that we can help build a truly inclusive and equitable society. Find out more about the four specific commitments we made in our public pledge with the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC).


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