To celebrate Women & Girls in Science day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on our very own ramarketing experts. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, we are proud to champion women in the life science sector we and our clients operate.
It’s proven that a diverse workforce leads to improved creativity and innovation, greater employee retention, and a boost in productivity. Not only this but gender, ethnic, religious, and sexual diversity throughout an organization leads to a better understanding of the customer and their needs.
At the helm of ramarketing’s operations is Dr. Emma Banks, CEO. After completing her Ph.D. followed by two years of Postdoctoral research, Emma joined a small biometrics CRO, latterly supporting the leadership of the data management team. Prior to joining ramarketing, she ran an international life sciences software company.
Having been a Board member of the Society of Clinical Data Management (SCDM) and taking the role of Conference Co-Chair for its Annual Conference in the USA, Emma has developed a strong reputation across the industry. A seasoned conference speaker, Emma’s insights have been covered nationally and internationally at Biofocus and Precision Medicine conferences in the UK and SCDM in Europe and the US.
Emma shared her experience of the transition from her previous roles to her career at ramarketing;
“It was quite a big decision to move away from a world I knew so well to a world which felt a bit ‘out there’. But the connection to the sector I love, the challenge to learn something new and the culture all helped. Today I reflect on the past 4 years and know it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The skills the agency needed from me were more generalist (leadership, people development, etc) but my experience in the sector has been invaluable as I have been able to look at things like one of our clients. Sometimes taking a considered risk can open doors you didn’t even know existed.”
She also talked about whether the industry’s view of women has changed in her time;
“Although things are changing, we still have a long way to go to improve the view of women across all elements of our industry. We are under-represented in leadership but also in clinical trials and healthcare inequality still exists, even in 2023. Our sector plays a part in that and has a huge opportunity to make changes that will reach well beyond our industry.”
Laura Child leads our Research & Strategy department. She has built an impressive career as Program Director in some of the largest multinational CROs, delivering high-value and high-complexity global trials, from Ph 1 through Ph 3.
An accomplished leader, she has led large, multicultural teams all while ensuring high quality in delivery. Laura is extremely experienced when it comes to working with CDMOs and third-party vendors across all aspects of clinical trials which makes her an invaluable asset across the business.
We asked Laura’s advice for those wanting to get started in the industry:
“When studying Medical Sciences at University, I did a module in Clinical Trials which was led by AstraZeneca. I remember finding it really fascinating at the time, and this led me to explore opportunities that existed down the line. I started off as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) in a graduate program and found that I really appreciated the challenge and satisfaction that came from overseeing drug development. I particularly enjoyed working on-site with the medical teams, as it brought me one step closer to the patients. Although graduate programs are not that common, they can be a really great opportunity to maximize learning and development early on in your career.
I would also recommend spending a year in industry as part of a sandwich degree – it provides the opportunity to expose you to industry and perhaps see avenues that you weren’t previously aware of. You may come to realize that your likes and/or strengths are not always entirely aligned with your initial perceptions. Try to identify what aspects you enjoy the most and see where they can take you. Stay open-minded and be willing to work hard.”
Laura also shared her experience being a female in the life science industry:
“When I first joined the sector as a graduate, my initial perception was that there was fairly equal representation in life sciences. Within the first 5 years of my career, I witnessed a client push aside a female leader because she was too softly spoken – only for them to specifically request that she be replaced by a male. It was disappointing to witness and I was reminded of the potential gender bias that exists. As I’ve progressed through my career, it became apparent that females remain under-represented in leadership roles and this is very slow to change.”
Recently promoted within our Content team is Dr. Caitlin Richardson, ramarketing’s Senior Scientific Content Specialist. After completing her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Newcastle University, Caitlin gained experience in laboratory research and medical communications.
As a Medical Writer, Caitlin used her biochemistry expertise to produce literature reports, seminar materials, and interactive infographics for global clients. Working within medical device and biopharmaceutical companies as a researcher in downstream processing departments, Caitlin applied her in-depth scientific knowledge and analytical skills to optimize protein purification. As a result, Caitlin has a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and processes involved in developing diagnostic kits, drug substances, and drug products.
Caitlin shared her key learnings from her experience in the industry:
“If you want to be a lab scientist – learn everything. Knowledge is key to progressing in the industry as a lab scientist. Get out of your comfort zone and get as much experience using different techniques as possible. But don’t forget to ask yourself why you might be using that particular technique or method or if there is a way to do it better.
Another key lesson is that there are a lot of other roles you can be doing in the industry that are still scientific that might not be in the lab but are equally rewarding, if not more so. Take time to research what these might be, you might surprise yourself and fall in love with the idea of being a project manager or technical writer.”
We also asked Caitlin about her transition from active sector work to a role within a life sciences marketing agency:
“There’s a lot of communication and writing involved in both lab research and marketing. Ensuring your audience (whether that’s an auditor or a journal reader) understands what you are trying to communicate and explain is fundamental, so those in life science will have a lot of skills that transfer well into marketing.
For those that love to learn and be challenged by new concepts, I can say wholeheartedly that the topics I write about are much more diverse than the areas I would have covered in the industry. Not only do I get to speak to industry experts who are at the cutting edge of their field, but I get to learn about a whole new area I previously had little experience with marketing. And there’s a lot to learn.”
Playing a vital role in the sector knowledge department is Katie Kovalevich, our CDMO Sector Lead. After completing her degree in Biology at Western New England University in Massachusetts, Katie started her career at Avista Pharma Solutions, a CDMO later acquired by Cambrex, as an Environmental Monitoring Field Analyst. There, she was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility eventually taking over as the Manager.
Her next role was with Catalent as an Account Executive where she supported the stand-alone analytical laboratory. Prior to joining ramarketing, she was a Sales and Marketing Manager for Alcami. In this role, she was instrumental in bringing up a new service offering both operationally as well as from the business development side.
Katie talks about her experience of getting started in the industry:
“Looking back at my career, I find myself surprised that every role I held was vital in preparing me for the next. My top tip would be to truly embrace and get the most out of every opportunity. My first job out of university was far from glamorous but I didn’t let that stop me from doing my absolute best and learning everything I could about what I was doing. I still use that knowledge to this day but in a completely different way.”
She also shared her advice for women starting a career in life sciences:
“If I were to give advice to girls entering the science field – I would tell them that the sky is the limit. Dream big. Dreams do come true. I’ve always known that I would work in science but there was a part of me that always dreamed about working in marketing. Fast forward many years, I’m now working for a marketing agency that specializes in life sciences.”
Missing out on having these industry experts on your latest project?
Get in touch with our team today to see how ramarketing can help you get noticed in life sciences.
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