Jess asks What if...
...early access schemes were more effective, and everyone had access to the right treatment at the right time?
Through a culmination of her life experiences and varied professional career, Jess has developed an ability to problem solve and overcome adversity, fostering her ability to find creative solutions and achieve collective goals. From navigating an early career path as a single mother to juggling high-level professional responsibilities, it is this innate resolve to overcome challenges that has shaped her ascendancy.
How it started
Jess’ ambitions have always been focussed on improving people’s health and she began fulfilling this interest while studying Health Sciences Research and Health Economics at the University of Aberdeen. Her early research experience and work with elderly people with dementia, people with learning disabilities, and epilepsy, repeatedly shone a light on the importance of access to treatment and quality of healthcare.
Improving and raising the profile of therapeutic pathways continue to be front of mind for Jess and her work, most recently at Sanofi UK & Ireland. By emphasising the importance of research and innovation as part of an evergreen cycle, she believes Sanofi can help to improve the patient experience and continue to pursue momentous breakthroughs. It is her first-hand experience with patients prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry, through research and work with the NHS, that acts as a constant reminder of the importance of Sanofi’s work and a motivation to chase the miracles of science.
“My early working career showed me how important persistence is when striving to achieve goals. When we strive for the best possible outcomes, we maximise our impact in meeting the needs of patients.”
How it's going
As Country Lead (Managing Director), UK & Ireland, Jess now has a more overarching role which requires both external affairs and managerial expertise. The position allows her to further her passion of improving diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. Jess strongly believes in improving broader social mobility and access to medicine, in addition to facilitating an inclusive pipeline of talented people to unleash their potential.
Sanofi understands that a healthcare system which works for all starts with listening to everyone equally. That’s why Sanofi launched a €50M global initiative this year, called ‘A Million Conversations’, aimed at sparking frank discussions between the healthcare industry and marginalised communities. By turning these conversations in to action, Sanofi UK & Ireland have partnered with Imperial College London on a scholarship scheme to help people from diverse communities become part of the healthcare community.
Jess has also set her ambitions upon improving the UK landscape for life sciences amid a competitive international environment. It is her vision to both preserve and progress the UK and Ireland as destinations for effective health care provision and innovation. Jess is not naive to the difficulty of this challenge, but by asking ourselves ‘What if?’ and being curious in the questions we ask, we can embrace new ways of thinking and make incremental steps forward.
“When we work in partnership, listening to people's thoughts and concerns, we can help to build a healthcare system that people can trust and rely on. We must create a system which can then act as a blueprint for others around the world to follow.”
Moving forward and answering the big questions
Jess has developed a wide knowledge base and far-reaching expertise over her career. This is why colleagues find wisdom in her council and conviction in her decision making. She is eager to continue learning and expanding her own skillsets with the help of those around her. It is this holistic approach that has instilled her position as a champion of individual growth and team development for long-term success.
She does not recognise a difference between her personal and professional temperament, Jess is just trying to be the best version of herself irrespective of the environment. This is an approach encouraged through Sanofi’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), all of which help to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. By turning insight into action, the Sanofi team are recognised for their intersectionality and applauded for building an environment for all to thrive.
Leading with authenticity allows Jess to make meaningful relationships with Sanofians without compromising her drive to succeed. Establishing these uncompromising and strong team settings facilitates Sanofi’s ability to serve the patient and their communities.
“We're focusd on celebrating our individuality, learning about each other and what drives us to chase the miracles of science. When we encourage each other to share stories, step outside our comfort zone, the team as a whole reaps the rewards.”
When considering the legacy that she wants to create for herself at Sanofi, Jess identifies her ability to help those around her grow and achieve their desired professional journeys. This sentiment is followed up with the acknowledgement of the many milestones she still strives to achieve as Country Lead (Managing Director). The ability to make a positive impact on the lives of patients is what has allowed her to become a leading expert in people’s health and continues to facilitate her focus to pursue Sanofi’s mission to chase the miracles of science every single day.
What if Sanofi inspired? is a series exploring the people pioneering our ambition to chase the miracles of science. By showcasing Sanofi leaders, their talent, and their experiences, we hope to encourage you to similarly be bold in the questions you ask and, ultimately, inspired to join our pursuit of eureka moments.