Mimma Pernetti

Director Global Marketing, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines, Rixensart, Belgium

I spent my first 25 years in Rome, Italy, where I graduated from University of Rome "La Sapienza" in Chemical Engineering. During Erasmus program at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques (Nancy, France) and a research thesis at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) I developed a passion for biotechnology and bioencapsulation, which I further explored during my PhD at Ecole Nationale d'Ingenieurs des Techniques et Industries Agricoles et Alimentaires de Nantes and University of Rome "La Sapienza". After a short experience in academic world, I decided to move to industry, within the Marie Curie program, with a Post-doctorate at Unilever Research and Development Center in Vlaardingen (Netherlands). I started applying research work on biopolymers to food, resulting in publications and a patent on novel food structuring. Besides the enriching scientific experience, I was fascinated by working in multidisciplinary teams, hands in hands with marketing and with manufacturing, to develop and deliver new products to worldwide customers. I then moved to GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines R&D, in Belgium, first as a Project Manager, then as evolving to Director, Vaccine Development Project Leader. I lead matrix teams for late development of vaccines, lifecycle strategy and assessment of new technologies. Then I decided to extend my knowledge of the pharmaceutical business, to understand the "front line" business and to better know the end customer. I performed a broadening assignment in marketing roles in the GSK local operating company in Belgium and Luxembourg, accountable for the marketing of a drug for lupus and then for the launch of a new respiratory drug. Now I am back to the global organization in GSK Vaccines, responsible for the marketing, commercialisation and strategic assessment of vaccines in endemic areas, with focus on Emerging Markets.
I am a mother of two daughters of 6 and 3,5 years and a wife of a busy IT engineer also working in a multinational company. As many women (and men) of my age I juggle between career, family and personal life, trying to grow, have fun and make a difference...

Diversity in a VUCA world: what it really means?
Being a leader in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world means that every day is different from the previous and every team member brings a slice of diversity, be it gender, culture, religion, color, language. I will share some general considerations on this topic and my personal experience on how being an Italian, woman, extrovert, small, engineer, mother of two, has been perceived and has made a difference in my career.

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