Episode 81 – Dr. Moira Gilchrist

Dr. Moira Gilchrist is the Vice President of Strategic and Scientific Communications at Philip Morris International (PMI). She has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and in 2006, came to PMI to help launch the company’s smoke-free products, which were developed as better alternatives to cigarettes for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke. Her journey to PMI was as personal as it was professional: as a smoker, she understood the potential for these better alternatives to become a breakthrough for smokers like herself who would otherwise not quit.

Episode Notes

Moira shares her personal and professional journey of getting a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, starting her career in cancer research and then working in the pharmaceutical industry before joining PMI – which as she will share in this episode – was not a place she ever thought she’d work. Today, she leads a team whose job it is to translate the robust science behind the company’s smoke-free alternatives into information policymakers and the public can easily understand.

Ok…so getting beyond the tobacco conversation…Moira shares how she got interested in becoming a pharmacist – almost left her major – and then had a class in industrial pharmacy that redirected her and led to her getting a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. We talk about the importance of developing communication skills and how having the backs of other women in the rooms we are in can have a big impact.

Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio

Acronyms, Definitions, and Fact Check

Women’s share of jobs in the largest STEM category—Computers and Math— decreased from 44% in 1990 to 27% in 2018 and women hold the fewest share of STEM jobs in the Engineering and Surveying sector at 16% (https://extension.ucsd.edu/getattachment/community-and-research/center-for-research-and-evaluation/Accordion/Research-Reports-and-Publications/Women-in-STEM-Workforce-Index-FINAL-for-CRE-7_22_20.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US)

In 2020, there were almost 6.6 million female scientists and engineers in the EU, 254 500 more than in 2019, accounting for 41% of total employment in science and engineering. By sector, women were underrepresented in manufacturing (where only 22% of scientists and engineers were female), while there was more of a gender balance in the services sector (46%). Among the EU Member States, the proportion of female scientists and engineers varied widely in 2020, ranging from 52% in Lithuania, Portugal and Denmark to 30% in Finland and 31% in Hungary. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-eurostat-news/-/edn-20220211-2)

Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. https://leanin.org/book

Neuro Linguistic Programming – a pseudoscientific approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States, in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)

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