Stories and Viewpoints
By: Niki Kapsambelis
March 24, 2022
In honor of International Women’s Day, Viatris is highlighting the stories and viewpoints of women colleagues around the world throughout the month of March.
Head of Group, Brand Equity Rx
New York, N.Y., U.S.
Please tell me about your career path. Where did you start, how did you end up at Viatris, and what were some interesting points along your journey?
I started off in fast-moving consumer goods, but joined the pharmaceutical industry about 20 years ago. I worked both in local brand marketing roles in Germany, Sweden and the U.S., as well as at the regional level in Europe and Latin America and in global roles. I came to Viatris as part of Upjohn. I have been fortunate to be able to initiate and lead several interesting initiatives such as setting up a European marketing organization from scratch to lead our marketing and commercialization efforts across the region, developing and launching Pharma’s first wearable, and leading the development of a telemedicine and medication delivery project using drones and digital technology to reach rural and remote patients and physicians in Latin America.
Who is a woman who has inspired you, and how?
I was lucky enough to have a senior leader take an interest in me. She was not influenced by gender or age biases and believed in everyone’s voice getting heard, no matter your years of experience.
What is the best advice you received, either personally or professionally?
Believe in yourself, advocate for your ideas and thoughts and do not get influenced by perceived age or gender biases; the best organizations and ideas are made up of diverse perspectives.
What advice would you offer to young women who are just starting their careers?
Seek out a mentor and advisor who can not only act as a sparring partner in your day-to-day job, but who can also act as an advocate and door-opener for new opportunities within the organization. Speak up when you have an idea for how to improve the business, and make sure you have senior management support for driving these ideas forward.
How does the Women Employee Resource Group (ERG) benefit Viatris employees?
To me, the Women ERG is a foundational meeting place for all women and their allies at Viatris. It brings together individuals who share a passion for supporting women and offers opportunities to connect with colleagues across Viatris regardless of experience, career aspirations or location. What I especially love about the ERG is that it can be exactly what you want it to be – it is your choice as to if, and how much, you would like to be involved.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me it is about diversity, celebrating differences and removing biases. This is important not only to be successful in business but also in society at large where, in some places, women are still not afforded the same opportunities as men. I am proud of the work Viatris is doing in driving this critical cause.