Laurie Kowalevsky is the senior director of global marketing in Immunology for Eli Lilly’s Bio-Medicines business and chairwoman of the Women’s Initiative for Leading at Lilly (WILL) the company’s largest employee resource groups.
In addition to launching Cialis (the competitor to Viagra) and now one of Lilly’s largest biomedicine products for women, Laurie led a CEO sponsored research initiative called the Women’s Employee Journey that has made a tremendous impact across the organization. Leveraging her expertise in consumer marketing, the research initiative is quite unique as it used a customer-centric model based on Lilly’s approach to connecting to their patient experience that similarly seeks to understand the woman employee’s experience at Lilly. The findings of the research uncovered the “enablers” and “barriers” employees say they experience at each level of their careers at Lilly like stifled authenticity, imposter syndrome, and limitations in key job structures to name a few. These insights have helped the organization better understand and put actions into place to increase representation of women in leadership. Lilly is one of the largest global pharmaceutical companies and they are investing in advancing women in leadership and embedding a gender lens across all business units.
Since the research initiative, Lilly has been recognized as a Top Company for Executive Women by Working Mom and the National Association for Female Executives for 2 years in a row.