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#ImBlackInPharma | Wande Osuntokun

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Wande Osuntokun - Strategy Director

What do you do?

I am a Strategy Director within Trial and Medical Operations at Novartis.

What do you enjoy most about being a Strategy Director?

No 2 days are the same, I am involved in global resourcing, strategy, relationship management, stakeholder engagement and D&I to name a few areas of the business! I work across countries and cultures, various levels of the organization and am fortunate to have the opportunity to have a voice in D&I, an area I am very passionate about.

How did you get into Pharma?

I always knew I wanted to play a role in improving patients lives, I wasn't sure how! I had a friend in University whose sister was a CRA, this peaked my curiosity and the rest is history. After almost 20 years in the industry, I am still learning on a regular basis which allows me to stay motivated and engaged.

Why Pharma?

Why not? I believe there is a role for everyone in Pharma, you just need to have an idea of the impact you want to have with regards to healthcare and then take the time to investigate what functions your skillset could support.

What has your experience been being #BlackInPharma?

My experience of being Black in Pharma has been very positive. Am I in spaces where I am the only person of colour? Yes, on a daily basis. Does this bother me? Not initially but my mission now is to ensure the industry reflects society. Diverse workplaces are essential for success: increased creativity, faster problem solving, higher innovation, increased profits, reduced turnover to name a few. I was once asked if I ever thought my gender or race impacted my career progression and my immediate answer was no. The follow up question was has my race or gender impacted my career progression....that I was aware of? Now this question gave me a lot to think about and it's one that I will never be able to answer. Perhaps it has but this is why it is essential to have a strong professional network, to build a group of mentors, coaches and sponsors who support my career aspirations and always know my worth!

Top tips to getting into your role / Pharma?

Network Network Network! Make genuine and authentic connections, leverage LinkedIn and professional organizations, be intentional about how you build your professional brand and most of all, remain professional at all times because the pharma industry is small.

Fun fact

I love reality TV, I find it a great way to unwind! I would never sign up to any of it, well maybe I would! The World's Toughest Race is absolutely inspiring and I would like to participate in some type of endurance challenge!


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