Interview With Stephanie Monaco
Stephanie Monaco is the General Counsel & Head of Regulatory Affairs at Meridian Medical Technologies, a division of Kindeva Drug Delivery. Stephanie brings more than 20 years of experience advising pharmaceutical clients for Meridian Medical Technologies.
Most recently, Stephanie served as Vice President of Intellectual Property and Deputy General Counsel for Upjohn, a former division of Pfizer, Inc. There, she was responsible for legal matters related to intellectual property, litigation, licensing and business development, and corporate governance, as well as regulatory, privacy, and public policy. During Stephanie’s 17 years with Pfizer, she held several other positions, including lead intellectual property counsel for Meridian.
Stephanie studied biochemistry at Rutgers University and earned a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
What career advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
- When I graduated from law school, the then female General Counsel gave me the best advice, “say yes to every opportunity”. Throughout my career I have asked to join various teams and projects so I can learn each and every aspect of the business. No matter how big or small the project, I would offer my support. Not only will you make connections, but you will have a well-rounded business perspective. I also would advise having a perfectionist mindset can be limiting. If you don’t make a mistake, you will not have the opportunity to grow and mature from the experience.
How do women lead differently?
- I am not sure that I can say my individual leadership style is indicative of all women. For me, I try to be inclusive, transparent, and consistently communicate expectations. I believe in leading by example and striving to listen to what others need and want from me as a leader and deliver on those asks. Any leadership journey, be it male or female, will have surprises, therefore being flexible is key as the inevitable ups and downs will occur. I also believe as a leader there is a time to speak and a time to listen. We don’t always have to speak to lead. Showing up for our colleagues, our business partners, and our families is true leadership.
What role has networking played in your career advancement?
- Active professional networking is vital to any career advancement. I would not have achieved the great honor to be General Counsel and Head of Regulatory Affairs for Meridian Medical Technologies, LLC, a division of Kindeva Drug Delivery, without having built the relationships with, and trust of, the various members of the organization. I have made and maintained connections throughout my career such that I have a network of support not only for myself, but also for our company. Networking can be an excellent source of ideas, new perspectives, business connections, exchange best practices, etc. Networking does not need to be about “selling yourself” but rather is a wonderful opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals, both within and outside of your industry.
What does your company do to support diversity in the workplace?
- Meridian Medical Technologies, a division of Kindeva Drug Delivery, is committed to supporting diversity. We believe the individual differences of our employees help make our business stronger and more successful, and because only through respecting those differences can we provide all employees with an equal opportunity to succeed. We are committed to providing opportunities for employment, development, and advancement without regard to these differences, and will endeavor to provide a business and work environment that is free of behavior that is inconsistent with our equal opportunity objectives. This commitment to fairness and equality pertains to all areas of employment including recruiting, hiring, training, promotions, compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, demotions, terminations, and any other employment decision.
What do you see as the future of women in the Pharma Industry?
- I am honored to work for a company that brings lifesaving medicines to the world. Contract development and manufacturing organizations partner with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to change lives by improving patient outcomes around the world. The pharma industry has the opportunity to be a leader by curing gender bias. More and more women are entering STEM and now more than ever we need to recognize the value women can bring to industry.
What is the one piece of advice that you would give to women in the Pharma Industry that will help them become better leaders
- Be yourself always! If you try to fit into what you think someone wants or expects, it will come across as insincere. If you are authentic and honest with yourself and people will automatically be drawn to you and follow that example. Don’t be afraid of thoughtful risk taking and to speak up. As a leader, colleagues, management, and customers are all going to look to you for your opinion and guidance so have the confidence to use your voice.