Addressing skills gap in MTP sector
SUE MACLEMAN CEO, MTPConnect, Australia
Sue MacLeman, who has more than 25 years’ experience as an executive in medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector with roles in corporate, medical, commercial and business development, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of MTPConnect in 2016, one of the Government’s Industry Growth Centres set up to develop a world-leading MTP sector in Australia. Under her leadership, MTPConnect has had an important impact on the sector, accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, identifying and removing barriers to success to deliver sectoral competitiveness, collaboration and productivity.
In addition to her leadership roles, Sue is passionate about addressing the skills gap in the sector, upskilling the current workforce with the necessary business and commercialisation skills and creating pathways for students to easily transition from University to industry. Sue is a mentor in the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), an industry-led mentoring initiative providing support and guidance to second-year PhD students looking to extend their professional networks.
Having worked at Schering-Plough Corporation (now Merck), Amgen and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sue sits on the board of a number of public and private entities globally, including Oventus Medical Ltd, RHS Ltd and veski.
Speaking about challenges faced during her career, she observed “I have been very fortunate in my career journey to have had influential male and female mentors and advocates for me, both personally and professionally. I believe Australia’s MTP sector is supportive of women. However, we need more focus and support to ensure diversity on our boards and in our senior management
teams. Women need to embrace the opportunities and be prepared to showcase their skill and expertise, and have a clear value proposition as to why they should be selected for that senior role or Board position. Men must to continue to champion this change and call out discrimination in any form when they see it.”
Commenting on gender parity in the pharma industry, Sue mentions “I am a strong advocate for gender parity in the MTP sector and in particular, I believe that having diversity in leadership is critical to driving innovation and collaboration within the sector. Innovation is critical to any industry and it requires a diversity of perspectives and collaborative approaches. Australia must embrace a more inclusive approach to leadership –particularly in the MTP sector – to be in the strongest position to compete globally, innovate and grow. Explaining her early days with MTPConnect Sue says, “Following the release of the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015, I was excited to rise to the challenge of leading the new Industry Growth Centre, MTPConnect. As a not-for-profit organisation, distinct from government, I saw it was an opportunity to act as independent voice for Australia’s MTP sector; representing the needs and interests of the entire MTP sector, and acting as a champion for change at the highest-level. Today, I am thrilled with the support that MTPConnect has received from the sector and the influence we have had within government.”
Sue has risen to the challenge of leading the new Industry Growth Centre, MTPConnect, and has shown outstanding leadership in her ability to unify key sector stakeholders around a shared vision for the future of MTP industry.
CEO, MTPConnect, Australia