07 th Mar Celebrating International Women’s Day
We’ve pledged our support to the #BeBoldForChange campaign as part of International Woman’s Day. To celebrate the success of women in regulatory affairs and the wider pharmaceutical sector, we hope the journey of TRAC regulatory affairs professional Louise Pett, inspires you as much as it did us.
My Journey – by Louise Pett
I knew I wanted to go into Science at a young age when introduced to the theory of genetics as a school project at age 14. Going to an all-girls school where most of my science teachers were women, it never occurred to me that science would not be a great career to pursue. I was encouraged to apply for a Nuffield Science Bursary in 1998 which I undertook at GlaxoWellcome. This gave me exposure to the exciting area of laboratory work before I had even gone to University and cemented the idea that this is where I would want to be in the future.
Inspired by this early experience, I went to the University of Surrey to study Biochemistry and completed a Placement Year at a company called Genzyme, working in cell culture and protein purification. My supervisors for both my teenage Nuffield Bursary and Placement Year projects were both high achieving women who gave me the confidence and mentoring required to learn from these experiences. As such, I was able to build on my technical experience to carry out a successful practical based dissertation and subsequently won the University of Surrey Prize for Best Final Year Biochemistry Dissertation.
On the back of this, I secured my first graduate job at a company called Lonza Biologics in Purification Development. As a large Contract Manufacturing Organisation (CMO), Lonza gave me exposure to a variety of different departments in addition to laboratory work and I contributed to projects for Pharmaceutical companies worldwide. I left Lonza as a Senior Scientist with training in Operational Excellence.
After a career break where I had my son and moved to Cornwall, I re-entered work as a Regulatory Affairs Consultant. I had had limited exposure to pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs during my last role, but I received full training at my employer, TRAC Services, and was able to build on my knowledge of Drug Development and apply this to a field called; Drug Lifecyle Management in Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls (CMC). Since working at TRAC I have been involved in Pharma Licence remediation projects in African markets, Source Transfers in Asia Pacific markets and most recently I have been working on EU and International submissions in Consumer Health.
My son was only 16 months old when I started at TRAC and as such I only worked part time. Childcare is a major issue for many working parents, women in particular, and TRAC made it possible for me to work flexibly around my family and still feel confident that I was providing the best service possible to TRAC’s clients. When my son went to school I increased my hours and I have enjoyed the extra time this has given me to focus on my projects at work.
Now established in my career, I enjoy contributing to school and college networking events and careers days to boost the profile of Regulatory Affairs to students and hope to inspire the next generation of Women in Pharma.
Senior Regulatory Executive