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J&J Women in Spotlight - Leila Schwery-bou-diab, Vice President, Value Chain Management for Janssen Supply Chain | Fairygodboss
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Group Post

Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
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12 Comments
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Suleyka Munoz
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Thank you for sharing your experiences!
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Momof2boysNJ
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Super conversation - thank you for sharing a bit of yourself, Leila!
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Kristen Von Seggern
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Partnership Management of J&J Supply Chain
Such inspirational messages from Leila - I particularly love the concept of "thinking BIG!" I would add "DREAM BIG" as well - this will stretch you even further!
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: What advice would you give to a woman wanting to pursue a career in STEM2D? A: Be yourself, live your passion, think big and focus on what gives you energy and happiness, life is too short!
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: Along your career journey are there any cross-roads you faced where you made a career decision that had a major impact on the level of success you have achieved? A: One of the most important career choices I made happened at time when I was needed back in my home country of Switzerland, where my parents were living, and my father was gravely ill. I was living and working in the U.S. and was offered a big promotion that would require me to stay in the states instead of returning to Switzerland. At this point, I realized that career success can be viewed through many different lenses. I loved my work and the thought of the next career move, but I knew I would not enjoy real success or be the leader I needed to be if I was distracted and my heart and soul were back in Switzerland. As a result, I declined the job offer and then later took a different position that brought me back to Switzerland so I could spend time with my dad before his death. That time with my father was invaluable to me and in the end, other doors were already opening for my career. I had made the right choice.
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in STEM2D and how have you overcome that? A: With woman making up only 28% of the work force in STEM careers, it can be difficult finding a role model you can speak with openly and lean on for advice and guidance. Another challenge in some cultures, is the societal pressures and lack of work/life balance for women who choose to work full time and have a family. I recognized these challenges early in my career and continue to overcome them by expanding my network and finding very inspirational women in the industry. These women continue to be great resources to me. I also learned to focus on my own situation, my own values as a wife and mother and spent less time worrying about what others might think of me as a working woman and mother. In the end, we are not obligated to make everyone happy.
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: Can you share an obstacle you’ve faced in your career and how you overcame that obstacle? A: When taking on a new challenge, I like being outside of my comfort zone as I believe it is the best way to learn, grow as a leader and build self-confidence. When I took on my first leadership role early in my career, I had a team of 120 people, in a different country (Ireland) and with a significant business challenge. At the start, I felt overwhelmed. I had a “tipping point” moment where I said to myself “I HAVE A CHOICE”, I can give up as, I know there are other things I am good at or take the challenge and the opportunity and do my best. I decided to take the challenge! This experience helped me build my self-confidence and overcome many challenges I have faced in my career.
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of? A: I always followed my passion by listening to my heart and my family first before making any decision about my career. I was careful not to enter a career change “blindly” without first discussing the change with those that are closest to me. I am very proud of the leadership journey I have taken. I stayed loyal to my core values while of course gaining leadership maturity. I also had the chance to work with incredibly talented people who I’ve coached or mentored and of course learned tremendously from. I keep in touch with many of them and I feel so proud to see them growing in their career. What makes me particularly proud is working for one of the best Pharma Supply Chains in the world and making a real difference in the lives of patients who we supply product to. I could not think of anything more rewarding.
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Christine Mayersohn
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Leila, thank you for sharing this! For myself, it's a great reminder & reassurance to hear successful women leaders put themselves & family first, when making career decisions. It's amazing to see what a successful career you have, while staying centered & grounded on your priorities. :-)
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: Why do you believe it’s important to have more women working in STEM2D? A: I am strong believer in gender diversity and when the balance is right, the level of innovation, collaboration and productivity is better. Men and women bring different things to the table. When both genders are present diverse ideas, insights, and opinions can provide more well-rounded problem-solving. Moreover, women often have different interaction, communication and leadership styles than men. Having both men and women in STEM jobs allow for those styles to thrive and nurture in the work environment.
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Mitra Hummer
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271
Experienced Supply Chain Professional
Q: Looking back what or who inspired you to pursue a STEM2D career? A: My father was an engineer and passionate about science and technology. He always encouraged me through his passion for technology to pursue a scientific path. He was always by my side helping and encouraging me with math and science homework, as he wanted me to succeed in science. My parents built up my self- confidence by constantly telling me that I could be anything I wanted to be.
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