Rebecca’s big What if? question is:
What if a competitive spirit and desire for purposeful change allowed us to deliver a positive societal impact and meet business objectives ?
When an innate desire to help those around you is combined with conviction and knowledge, very special things can happen. Rebecca personifies these qualities, and more, with over 25 years of experience in life science and a track-record of building strong teams of talented individuals. With countless achievements and the desire to deliver more, Rebecca’s competitive fire continues to burn brighter with each passing day as she delivers in her role as General Manager for Vaccines.
How it started
A scientist at heart, Rebecca graduated from Durham University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Following her studies, Rebecca entered the life sciences industry and hasn’t looked back. She began her journey as a Commercial Trainee, building a wide-ranging professional portfolio and earning early leadership experience as a catalyst towards subsequent regional and global roles.
The variety of professional positions and team structures that Rebecca has navigated have informed her own priorities as a leader and General Manager. She has collated the good experiences, alongside the more challenging, to help her determine the way she fosters both effective collaboration and individual growth. When teams have not been working to their full potential, Rebecca’s leadership has enabled groups to not only improve their output, but also become self-sufficient without her presence. Stemming from her scientific background, she diagnoses areas of improvement, gathers practical insights, and devises a strategy to optimise team performance. This strategy is, in part, the foundation of the success of her teams.
“Building a team is about understanding what makes individuals perform at their best and aligning that around a common goal. This takes time and persistence, listening to feedback and adjusting as you go. A good indicator of success is when the team have grown to a point where they need little input from you as a leader.”
How it's going
Rebecca continues to possess a key interest in sustainability and science. The former of these is a passion also embraced by Sanofi as a leader in building a sustainable future for life sciences and beyond. She is a firm believer that business objectives and delivering a positive societal impact should not be mutually exclusive. The intertwining of Sanofi’s business aims, and sustainability goals requires purposeful action of the majority, so speaking and participating in events that reiterate this message is part of Rebecca’s interests.
Given her background, it is no surprise that Rebecca also cares deeply about advancing the scientific pursuit for eureka moments. Reinvesting in research and development is crucial as without this attention, innovation deteriorates. Furthermore, investing time in the people behind the next great discovery is critically important too. The Covid-19 global pandemic was a stark reminder of the necessity to continue investing in expertise and research into vaccinations which can protect those people we hold dearest. This desire to help those around her is a core principle behind Rebecca’s loyalty to the industry.
“Moving forward, I'm continuing to ensure we are able to contribute to an increased investment in R&D through our commercial success and that we bring more innovative vaccines/immunisations to more people.”
Moving forward and answering the big questions
Rebecca willingly shares that she possesses a competitive spirit that has helped her reach the role of General Manager. Especially for women in the workplace, this trait can be negatively associated with an individualistic and uncooperative mindset. Rebecca is one of the many people at Sanofi breaking this harmful stereotype by harnessing a positive flair and encouraging her team to be the best version of themselves. She enjoys holding her team close but not holding them back, providing guidance while also giving room for growth.
Providing space for individual development has facilitated those within Rebecca’s team to determine their own style of working and identify the ambitions they would most like to achieve. When Sanofi asks, ‘What if?’ to these individuals, encouraging them to be bold and curious in the questions they ask, the team can not only communicate their aims but also have a blueprint for how to achieve them.
“We are all different and with this brings different strengths. Harnessing the strengths of those around us helps to collectively develop our competitive edge as a team and achieve more together. I try to build teams where curiosity can thrive.”
It’s difficult to imagine that somebody with this wealth of experience and track record for exceeding expectations has a sense of imposter syndrome. Feelings of inadequacy can indiscriminately impact people at all levels of their career path and Rebecca is no different. To subdue feelings of unworthiness, purposeful steps are taken to not worry about the negative opinions of others, instead focusing on making an incremental positive change on people around her. At this, Rebecca is undoubtedly making her mark with honesty and integrity.
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.