I love my job because… Job satisfaction in pharma

Catherine Williams, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Business Unit Director, MSD in the UK, joint winner of the Cross-Functional Team Pf Award 2018 shares what gives her job satisfaction about working in pharma. 

Read this in the August issue of Pf Magazine. 

…I love the variety it brings.

There is not one day that looks the same and more broadly, it offers me the opportunity to work in an industry where you can develop a fulfilling career in a variety of roles. Secondly, it’s the people I work with. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work with some exceptionally talented individuals and in a place where diversity of thought and diversity of background matters. That is hugely satisfying. And finally, and so importantly, it’s about making a difference to patients and healthcare.

…There’s no such thing as a typical day.

In any given day I can be out meeting customers and healthcare professionals in the NHS, supporting individuals in my team, engaging in strategic and commercial discussions, liaising with Global colleagues to inform marketing strategy and policy work, creating and challenging innovative ways of working, engaging in projects to help the organisation achieve its goals around gender diversity…the list goes on!


…My core value drivers are fairness and equality.

Being able to play a part in driving equality therefore means a great amount to me. Equality is two-fold for me, equality of access to medicines to improve health and wellbeing of patients around the world, and equality for people in the workplace. If I can make a small contribution to help change those for the better, I’ll have achieved a life ambition.

…Our people are at the heart of everything we do and are passionate about making a difference.

Achieving scientific excellence, operating with the highest standards of integrity and commitment to act in a responsible, ethical and transparent manner are critical if we want to achieve business success through improving health outcomes. We employ a diverse workforce that values collaboration so that patients can access the medicines and services they need.

…We are not just about medicines.

Technology is revolutionising the management of healthcare and we are proud to continue to push the boundaries of invention to go beyond the pill, so I am proud that we are investing in harnessing the amazing capacity of innovative solutions and technology to help address health challenges now and in the future.

…I felt so proud when our team were the joint winners of the Cross-Functional Team Pf Award!

When we first embarked on our strategic planning discussions we set out as a team a clear purpose and goal. We had everyone aligned behind them to ensure we delivered. It wasn’t always easy, but the passion, commitment, trust and respect that the team aspired to show was evident throughout. The award we received was the icing on the cake and recognition for just what we achieved together.

…The breadth of the pharmaceutical industry is extremely diverse.

From research to manufacturing and commercialisation, every part of the business impacts the lives of patients. Working at MSD offers me the opportunity to work in an industry where I can develop a fulfilling career across a variety of roles, both within the UK and globally. Furthermore, MSD offers me the opportunity to balance my career and personal aspirations and live life with no regrets.

…Family is hugely important to me.

They keep me grounded and give me significant purpose. They were a huge support to me recently, as we planned for our wedding and helped us create some fabulous memories of a very special time. I’m a bit of an adventurer too, my husband and I love walking, and with the Chilterns on our doorstep, we’re fortunate enough to be able to make the most of our beautiful countryside on a regular basis. I have a huge passion for travel, seeing new places and learning about different people and cultures.

…I’m proud that MSD in the UK has recently been recognised as a Top Employer.

That is extremely encouraging as a senior female leader in the company as we strive to recruit and retain diverse talent. I have always been fortunate in my career to be supported, so paying this forward and maintaining a strong culture where people can thrive continues to motivate me.

…We are still facing significant challenges in disease areas such as cancer, antibiotic resistance and dementia.

To be part of a company committed to finding solutions to many of these devastating diseases through cutting edge R&D and ground-breaking scientific inventions is hugely fulfilling. We have always been and will always be inventing, and we do it for the single greatest purpose: life. There isn’t a better purpose than to help ensure healthier happier lives for patients, their families, their friends, their loved ones. And finally, we must continue to address the challenge of equality for all in the workplace. We’re making good progress, but there’s still work to do.

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