Ad­dress­ing skills gap in MTP sec­tor

SUE MACLEMAN CEO, MTPCon­nect, Aus­tralia

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Bio Content -

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.

SUE MACLEMAN CEO, MTPCon­nect, Aus­tralia

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