Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!
Sharon K. Standish
Vice-Chair Sponsorship, WIB-Pittsburgh
- Career position:
Global Program Leader, Bayer Healthcare, Indianola, PA
- Life science interests:
In my role as a Global Program Leader, I have the opportunity to work on many of the Bayer Life science efforts across the modalities from CT, MR, and Digital solutions in a medical perspective. I’m continually learning new technologies, developing medical devices and expanding our current Bayer offerings.
- Fun facts:
I love to read and entertain in our home. We have downsized and are now living in an apartment in the city – we like to refer to it as “resort-style living.” As a fun fact, I’ve actually parachuted out of a perfectly working aircraft – crazy, fun, scary, and a true risk-taker.
Experience in WIB
- What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?
I have the opportunity to work in an environment that allows me to understand the disease processes and lead the development and deployment of novel therapeutics and innovative medical devices, where the outcome can directly improve human health. I became involved with WIB as I have rolled off a number of other boards that I have been actively engaged within Pittsburgh/Butler area and was looking for something new, a new network, and new opportunities to learn and grow as a leader.
- How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth?
As a new member to WIB and in a board position, I anticipate WIB will contribute to growing my leadership skills based on the local event offerings and national WIB webinars. I definitely plan to grow my network in new areas and create new friends and potentially new opportunities.
- If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be?
Take advantage of the many events and webinars that the organization offers. Reach out of your comfort zone and meet two to three new people at these events. Practice what you learn from the events in your career either academically or professionally. Find an advocate and a coach – these are individuals that will help you to succeed.
- How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you?
Fortunately for me, I’ve always been asked to take on new responsibilities by being in the right place at the right time and saying yes – no matter if I knew I could do it or not. Where I struggle today is establishing the next opportunity, since it was always provided in the past. Now I’m in a position where I must define it. One piece of advice that was provided to me during one of my networking meetings with my senior leaders: “don’t come to my door the day I post a position, I want to know you, know who you are, your strengths, etc. Meet with me often so that when I have a position, you come to mind first.” Network!
- What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
Every day there are challenges: some smaller and easily managed, and others a tad more daunting. As a leader my role is to keep the calm in the storm and maneuver the team forward, being empowered to take action whether right or wrong, course corrections are acceptable.
- Who has been a good mentor to you and why?
I have had many mentors throughout my career and each has contributed to my core strengths they encouraged, built my confidence, challenged me, and most importantly were critical when needed. They were people I completed trusted.
- Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey as a woman in science?
I have had the opportunity to travel globally with my jobs. I have worked in a variety of fields from satellites, trains, .com/networks, a startup, and currently in the medical life science arena. In addition to my day job, I’ve given back to the community both at work and where I live, I’ve been board president, member of boards, part of the Women Leadership initiatives creating new initiatives within these boards and at work. Each of these roles and opportunities was a step up and forward. Always take that step.