Women's Leadership and COVID-19: Spotlight on Garima Kaul
In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, throughout March we’re putting a special focus on the incredible role women researchers and scientists have played in addressing COVID-19 and creating a more equitable STEM field post-pandemic. At Clarivate, more than half of the colleagues in our science organization are women. Their achievements are invaluable to our contributions to innovation and customer success. See the full series here.
In this interview, we speak with Garima Kaul, who leads Clarivate therapy and analytics expert teams in India, Mainland China and Japan. Earlier in her career, Garima’s research focused on increasing the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs and reverse engineering formulations for developing generic products. Garima, who is based in Gurgaon, has supported many global open innovation initiatives and authored 22 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, two patent applications, a book chapter and multiple thought leadership pieces.
How have Clarivate data and solutions been helpful in researching and understanding COVID-19?
It is interesting – and surprising – to see how quickly pharma companies have progressed on the development of COVID-19 vaccines. I think one of the key factors in this was working together for a common cause, and the need to solve scientific and socio-economic challenges beyond the boundaries of company and geography.
This kind of mindset can really drive industry innovation, as it encourages tapping into a very large pool of intellect. At Clarivate, we took a similar approach when working with our clients on COVID-19 related initiatives, bringing together diverse experts across therapy domains, analytics and research to develop the best solutions.
Last year I also analyzed multiple Clarivate data sets to assess the impact of the pandemic on clinical trials. We found that delays and suspension of trials could put nearly $60 billion at stake, and slow patient access to life-saving treatments. However, the healthcare industry has shown flexibility in adopting and integrating new technologies with traditional ways of working, as well as partnering with each other and technology companies.
How have the events of the past year impacted your ways of working, including the pandemic, quarantines, shifts to remote work and/or other macro social and economic trends?
It’s changed my way of working. Technology has helped keep us connected, but I do miss the face-to-face interactions with my team and other colleagues in office. We switched to video conferences and team activities, and increased focus on the well-being of colleagues, but in my opinion, there is no replacement for in-office discussions or team bonding.
I think one of the most significant impacts will be on the innovative mind set of teams, as I believe that more ideas and cross-learning happens when you discuss in-person with colleagues. I also often find it challenging to draw lines between personal and office space, as many do.
Do you have advice for women and girls interested in entering your field?
I don’t think there should be any discrimination against men or women who choose a science-focused career. Sometimes, for women, and especially working mothers, it becomes difficult to manage both work and home, and that is where family support is very important and helpful. I believe in our Clarivate values and I think they say it all: value every voice, own your actions and aim for greatness.
Do you see women’s leadership role in COVID-19 research and response as a springboard for a more equitable future and recovery post-pandemic?
Definitely! Women are very talented, and we need to tap into skillets across all genders to progress in any field. It is disheartening to see the number of women decrease as we move up the leadership pyramid, but this is changing. Women should aspire to achieve any heights in their profession as they have all the skills to do so.
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