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Hammers for Glass Ceilings

Hammers for Glass Ceilings
Reported by
Alan Dove

Posted July 01, 2009

Presented By

Presented by Network for Minority Investigators, the Women Investigators Network, and Pfizer, Inc.


On September 24, 2005, the New York Academy of Sciences' Network for Minority Investigators and Women Investigators Network, with generous support from Pfizer held a conference on career development. Some of the topics covered were the workplace of the future, the job-hunting process, the importance of networking, and resources new investigators can use to enter the pharmaceutical industry.

A panel answered audience questions about career transitions, especially those that occur after a scientist lands an industry job. Besides ethnic and gender diversity, the panelists displayed considerable occupational range, spanning several traditional and nontraditional career tracks. After lunch, the conference split into two well-attended breakout sessions. Like the morning discussions, the breakout sessions focused on concrete, no-nonsense strategies for female and minority scientists looking to get ahead.


Web Sites

American Chemical Society (ACS) Career Services
Offers many resources for job seekers.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Career Resources
Portal into the AAAS career resources, including information about grants and fellowships, internships, and more.

Just-Garcia Hill
A web resource for professional minority scientists, designed to foster networking, collaboration, and mentoring. Provides information for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoc fellows, and scientists in academia, industry, and government.

McNair Scholars Programs in the United States
The McNair Scholars Program was established by Congress to honor African-American astronaut Ronald E. McNair, and to encourage low-income minority students to pursue doctoral degrees.

Minority Scientists Network
A bi-monthly online publication whose goal is to provide support to underrepresented minority students pursuing an education and career in science, mathematics, and engineering.

National Postdoctoral Association (NPA)
The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) offers travel awards, resource links, diversity fellowship lists, and other information through its Diversity Committee. The NPA is funded by the AAAS through a grant by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Features a job search function and articles with career advice.

The Science Alliance for Students and Postdocs
A program of the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Science Alliance hosts live events and a website to support the career development of students and postdocs in the sciences. The New York Science Alliance is partnered with 18 universities, research institutes, and teaching hospitals in the New York area.
Sponsored by the AAAS, this site also offers comprehensive job search resources.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
This searchable database of company annual reports can provide you with valuable background information before interviewing.

Journal Articles

Handelsman, J., N. Cantor, M. Carnes, et al. 2005. Careers in science. More women in science. Science 309: 1190-1191.

Peterson, N. B., R. H. Friedman, A. S. Ash, et al. 2004. Faculty self-reported experience with racial and ethnic discrimination in academic medicine. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 19: 259-265.


Bolles, R. N. 2005. What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California.

Editors of VGM Career Horizons. 1999. Resumes for Scientific and Technical Careers, 2nd edition. NTC Publishing Group, Chicago.

Feibelman, Peter J. 1993. A PhD Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in the Sciences. Perseus Books, New York.

Fiske, P. S. 2001. Put Your Science to Work: The Take Charge Career Guide for Scientists. A revised and updated version of Fiske's To Boldly Go: A Practical Career Guide for Scientists. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC.

WetFeet. 2005. Careers in Biotech & Pharmaceuticals: The WetFeet Insider Guide. WetFeet, San Francisco.


Terry Carlton

Morris Consulting Group
email | web site

Terry Carlton, an independent training consultant and executive coach since 1996, brings 25 years of Fortune 500 experience serving in global training director roles. Before starting her own company, she worked for a training consulting firm, where she designed and led customized programs for financial, medical devices and natural gas organizations. She has designed and led leadership workshops for Cancer Information Services, New York Association of Nurse Executives, the Deans and Directors of New York Nursing Schools, and the New Jersey Association of Nurse Executives. She has coached executives at the New York Hospital for Special Surgery and the Medical Education Group.

Terry holds a Bachelors degree from Hunter College and numerous certifications in leadership, management development, and coaching. She has consulted with Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, JPMorgan Chase, Unisys, Vanguard, and KPMG Peat Morgan.

O. Prem Das, PhD

Harvard Medical School
email | web site

O. Prem Das is the director of the Office of Technology Development at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining HMS, Prem was associate director of the Office of Industrial Affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and briefly held a similar position at the Office of Industrial Liaison at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Before his nearly six years in academic technology transfer, Das worked for over six years in the biotechnology industry. He was director of business development for Cadus Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, NY from 1996 until 1999. Before Cadus, he cofounded Heartland BioTechnologies, a start-up biotechnology company, where he was initially the director of research and subsequently the president and acting CEO. He has also worked as a business development consultant in the biochip area. Das was involved for many years in academic research and has published broadly in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and genomics.

Das received an MSc in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his PhD in biological chemistry in 1980 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Flora Feng, JD

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
email | web site

Flora Feng is an associate with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. at the firm's New York office, practicing in the intellectual property section. Her practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, including advising clients on intellectual property issues, the licensing of patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as corporate transactions involving intellectual property. She previously held the title of legal assistant for the General Counsel's Office of the Office of Procurement and Financial Assistance at the U.S. Department of Energy. Her responsibilities included researching the legislative history and interpretation of certain energy-related acts. Feng honed her technical knowledge while employed by Mobil Research & Development Corporation, where she was an engineer in the company's products research & technical service division. She also served as a research assistant to a professor of immunology while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the firm, Feng was an associate at a New York City intellectual property law firm, where she concentrated her practice on pharmaceutical patent litigation and advised on copyright and trademark registration and protection.

Feng is admitted to practice in New York and in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She received her BS in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990), and was awarded her JD from Georgetown University Law Center (1996), where she was an editor for the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Jorge Funes, PhD

Pfizer, Inc.

Jorge Funes, a senior principal scientist at Pfizer, Inc., was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He holds a PhD in chemistry (1978) from the School of Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires and completed postdoc training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked on protein-peroxidizing lipid interaction from a food chemistry perspective.

Funes returned to Buenos Aires in 1982 and joined a government academic research center to continue working on food chemistry investigations initiated in the United States. In 1986 he joined Pfizer's Argentina manufacturing plant. After five years with Pfizer Argentina, Jorge was transferred to Pfizer's Global R&D facility in Groton, CT. and launched his analytical chemistry career working on the development of new human pharmaceutical drugs. Since joining Pfizer, Funes has held many positions of increasing responsible and has completed a secondment at Pfizer's Global R&D facility in La Jolla, CA.

Marcee Harris

email | web site

Marcee Harris is a senior associate in Catalyst's advisory services department. She works with organizations to assess their current workplace environments and develop strategies to further workplace inclusion and implement effective, customized solutions. Harris is a member of Catalyst's work-life issue-specialty team, and specifically heads up the group's efforts to build internal expertise. Before joining Catalyst, she consulted with nonprofit and government agencies across the San Francisco Bay Area on a variety of issues facing women, including entrepreneurship, anti-poverty programs, and leadership development. She was also the director of the University of California, San Francisco Women's Health Resource Center where she planned educational programs aimed at increasing women's well-being throughout their lifespan.

Harris received her Master's in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Spanish and women's studies from Duke University.

Susan Morris

Morris Consulting Group
email | web site

Susan Morris, an instructional designer, facilitator, consultant, and executive coach, has more than 20 years of experience in partnering with individuals, functional groups, new and mature teams, and organizations in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Before starting her own company in 2002, Susan worked for a training and consulting firm targeting technology-based organizations. Today, Susan's client relationships focus solely on global pharmaceutical companies with an expertise in pharmaceutical sponsors and contract research organizations (CRO) partnerships. Much of her professional time is devoted to women scientists in R&D and their career challenges. Previous experience included line management responsibilities for the American Red Cross, Blood Services, HealthAmerica (an HMO), and the American Cancer Society.

Morris holds a Masters in Education from Temple University and a Bachelors degree from Douglass College. She is a Certified Comprehensive Coach. She has consulted to Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Astra-Zeneca, Apollon, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Gencell, Pharma-Research, PharmaNet, Invivodata, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Wyeth, Enzon, Pfizer, Sepracor, Aventis, Endo, Novartis, and Millennium pharmaceutical R&D, domestic and global product teams.

Iesha O'Deneal

New York Academy of Sciences
email | web site

At the time of this conference, Iesha O'Deneal was the manager of the Women Investigators' Network (WIN) and Network of Minority Investigators (NMI) at the New York Academy of Sciences. She is now manager of global diversity and inclusion at Pfizer, Inc. She has also served as lead for diversity at Pfizer's Global R&D Division, with responsiblity for managing various employee networking groups, and was directly responsible for the development, deployment, and implementation of PGRD's diversity strategy across the United States, Europe, and Japan.

O'Deneal is a sought-after speaker on diversity and affirmative action issues and has served as guest panelist and presenter at the 2005 Bennett College Chief Diversity Officers Forum, 2004 Cornell University MBA Conference, and Electronic Recruiting Exchange Conference.

O'Deneal received her BA in psychology from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi and a Master's in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.

Tanya Odom

The FutureWork Institute, Inc.
email | web site

Tanya Odom is a highly regarded consultant, facilitator, trainer, teacher and speaker. She has conducted hundreds of workshops for adults and youth around the United States and Europe in the following areas: diversity education, educational equity, girls' leadership development, youth engagement, parental-community involvement, human rights education, intercultural awareness, hate crime prevention, and conflict management.

Odom works as a senior consultant in the global diversity practice of The FutureWork Institute, a strategic alliance of Towers Perrin, which has been cited as one of the top 25 consulting firms in the nation. Odom works with corporations in the United States and Europe in their efforts to address diversity issues and create sustainable change in organizations. She has worked with such clients as JPMorgan Chase, the New York Stock Exchange, American Express, Capital One, Johnson & Johnson, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Random House Publishing, and UBS PaineWebber. Her areas of specialty include racism, gender communication, disabilities, recruitment and retention, work/life Balance, mentoring, cross-cultural interviewing, and global diversity.

In the educational arena, Odom has worked on issues of educational reform, standards and equity, bilingual education, and overall school and district improvement efforts. She has worked on creating curriculum and professional development for educators dealing with issues of tolerance, equity, and the creation of "caring and learning classrooms." She is skilled in many active, participative, and experiential learning methods.

Prior to beginning her consulting work, Tanya worked as the assistant to the director of children's services at Women in Need Inc. in New York City, where she worked with homeless women and children living in temporary housing facilities. She also served as the coordinator of a dropout prevention program on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Odom has a Masters degree in education from Harvard University. She received her BA in anthropology/sociology with a minor in women's studies from Vassar College.

Jeremy Paul, PhD

New York Academy of Sciences
email | web site

Jeremy Paul, director of the Frontiers of Science Program at the New York Academy of Sciences, obtained an AB in biology from the University of Chicago in 1981 and a PhD from the biology department at MIT in 1986. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Chicago from 1986 to 1990 in the laboratories of Donald F. Steiner and R. Michael Garavito. From 1990 to 2003, Paul worked in the biotechnology sector in the New York area at Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Cadus Pharmaceuticals (which he helped found in 1992), OSI Pharmaceuticals, and most recently Aton Pharmaceuticals.

Joanne Peters

Kelly Scientific Resources
email | web site

Joanne Peters is a recruiting branch manager with Kelly Scientific Resources, where she is responsible for partnering with organizations to identify best-in-class scientific talent. Peters services the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas and has considerable expertise in identifying and placing qualified science professionals. She has worked with pharma, biotech, and nonprofit organizations across the tri-state region. Peters is an SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) certified PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and holds a MS in toxicology.

Vicky Richon, PhD

Merck & Co., Inc.

Victoria Richon joined Merck Research Laboratories, Boston in 2004 as senior director of cancer biology and therapeutics following the acquisition of Aton Pharma, Inc. She was a cofounder and executive director of biology at Aton. She was a leading member of the scientific group that discovered Aton's histone deacetylase inhibitors while at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1989 until 2002. She did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Paul Marks and Richard Rifkind at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1986 until 1989. Richon received her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Nebraska in 1986 and her BA in chemistry from the University of Vermont in 1981.

Jura N. Viesulas, PhD

American Chemical Society
email | web site

Jura Viesulas manages the American Chemical Society's Office of Employment Information. The office collects, analyzes, and disseminates information about employment issues, salaries, work trends, and demographics in the chemical sciences. Viesulas supervises career related publications, career workshops, and training of career consultants. She is on the board of the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology.

Viesulas earned her doctorate in psychoeducational processes from Temple University and a Master's in biochemistry from Wayne State University. She taught chemistry on the university and community college levels and was director of student affairs at Temple University in Rome, Italy.

Alan Dove

Alan Dove earned his PhD in microbiology from Columbia University and is now a science writer and reporter for Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, and Journal of Cell Biology. He also teaches at the NYU School of Journalism.

Presented by Network for Minority Investigators, the Women Investigators Network, and Pfizer, Inc.