Senior leader reflects on importance of mentorship after receiving prestigious industry award
An interview with Marie Keeley, vice president of BioPharma Solutions
Marie Keeley was recently named a 2020 Luminary by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA). The HBA Luminary award recognizes professional women with more than 20 years of healthcare industry experience, who actively mentor and sponsor others, help advance other women’s careers and exhibit dedication to the industry.
Q: Tell us about your role at Baxter.
Marie: I lead the BioPharma Solutions (BPS) business. This is Baxter's contract manufacturing business through which we partner with pharmaceutical companies to provide manufacturing services for sterile injectable products worldwide.
Q: How did your career path lead you to your current role?
Marie: My entire career has been in healthcare. I've worked in pharma and device, upstream and downstream commercial roles, including sales management and global marketing. These experiences provided a great foundation for me to lead the BPS business, which encompasses sales, marketing, strategy and manufacturing operations.
Q: How do you feel about being named an HBA Luminary for 2020?
Marie: I'm truly honored to accept this award on behalf of Baxter and be a part of this prestigious group of women in healthcare.
Q: Tell us about your mentorship work.
Marie: I'm a big believer in mentoring. During my career, I've had some great mentor and mentee relationships, both formally and informally. I find the most satisfaction in working with mentees because I’m able to be a part of their development and success.
Q: What do you think are the keys to a successful mentoring relationship?
Marie: In my opinion, the biggest keys are having trust and mutually aligned goals. These provide the framework for the mentor and mentee to learn from each other while aligning their expectations for the relationship.
Q: Why do you think supporting women in the workplace is critical?
Marie: Women are unfortunately still underrepresented in leadership roles in the workplace. To drive innovation, we need to ensure our teams include individuals with different backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives. It's foundational.
Q: Is there a piece of advice you received as a young professional that continues to resonate?
Marie: Very early in my career, a mentor gave me some great advice, which I found especially valuable — to gain as much experience as I could in different businesses or functions.
Q: If you could give your 25-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Marie: Lean in, don’t be afraid to take chances, and remember that every experience is an opportunity to learn.