Women Leaders in Pharma Interview Series

Women Leaders in Pharma Interview Series

Interview With Fran Zipp

About Fran

Frances (Fran) Zipp is President & CEO of Lachman Consultant Services, Inc. As an expert in compliance enhancement, she develops program solutions to meet GXP compliance requirements and delivers strategic guidance and direction toward implementation of effective solutions to client needs. Fran has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, biologic, and biotechnology industries from R&D through post-market approval. She assists and counsels Senior-level management in areas of Corporate Governance, Corporate Integrity Agreement Compliance, Consent Decree Negotiations and Resolutions, Application Integrity Policy resolution, and Due Diligence evaluations (facilities; products; technologies).


What do you wish that you knew early in your career that would have been helpful?

  • Earlier in my career I sometimes focused on the goal—the next career opportunity, next promotion, or opportunity, and I may have missed the experience of the role I actually held. I became bored easily and it was not until at least 15 years into my career that it dawned on me that if I stayed in the same role, I still could achieve success, learn, and feel fulfilled. The focus on upward mobility, especially for a woman in a field which was just starting to experience gender diversity, was intense.

How do you approach networking – internally and externally – and how do you maintain the connections that you’ve made?

  • I actively reach out to people, on a personal level. I stay in touch, remember key aspects of my colleagues’ lives, and am genuinely interested. This is not about how many LinkedIn connections I have, or other social media forums (I only use LinkedIn). I call people, text them, seek to meet them at industry events. We all spend so much time with our work colleagues, they become our extended friends, and I treat them as such.

How do women lead differently?

  • I do not think women lead differently. Diversity programs also include inclusion. Women bring their experience, no different than any other gender identified person. Focusing on the person, not the gender, defines the leadership style.

What do you see as the future of women in the Pharma Industry?

  • Our industry has embraced women engineers, scientists, pharmacists, and leaders. There are global heads of supply chain, quality, R&D, etc., organizations that are now led by women. To continue this in the future, we all need to encourage STEM with those currently in high school and focus on the balance and opportunity the industry offers. I see women as significant contributors to the industry now and in the future.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to women in the Pharma Industry that will help them become better leaders?

  • Follow the 80/20 rule – if you have 80% of the skills, go for it. If you are the person who may not be the most qualified, be the person who wants the role the most. Believe in yourself and be empathetic. Support your colleagues, and be “YOU” – don’t try to fit any mold.