Setting an example for my children: Sarah's story

Sarah is a Public Affairs Manager passionate about healthcare policy and increasing access to essential medicines for patients. She is a business partner to our vaccines, general medicines and consumer healthcare businesses, giving her a an informed and broad point of view on our health ecosystem. As part of a young, active family, she loves road trips and going to the beach with her three children and sixth family member – Arlo, the labradoodle..

In her own words…. meet Sarah.

What important role do you play in the organisation?

My role in public affairs is focused on putting our external stakeholder and patient voices at the heart of policy discussions. When I’m working on large projects, I ensure that everything we do is centred around what is in the best interest of the patient. Through building relationships, I bring the opinions or concerns of patients into policy making. If I see something that can be improved, I see it as my duty to speak up and lead the change.

What has inspired your career?

I always wanted to  make a difference. I truly had to love what I do and I needed to feel I was giving back to my community or society in some way. That core value has been unwavering, my ‘why’ has never changed.
My love for policy began over a decade ago when I travelled with a 13 year old girl with type 1 diabetes to Washington DC Congress to advocate for the passing of a bill for diabetes funding. Public Affairs needs to be well connected around the world so we were able to give a global perspective to the discussion. It made me realise that I wanted to be in an area where my work made a difference. My time working in politics for over 6 years also gave me a greater insight into policy making and the role of advocacy. 

Sarah and her family in front of their house
It’s this perseverance I want to show to my children

How would you describe your experience at Sanofi in a nutshell?

I see Sanofi as a family. What I love about Sanofi is how everyone understands that we all have a life outside of work. It’s OK to have other commitments. We know the juggle is real and we are here to support you 100% of the way. 

But it’s also a partnership. I take the time to have regular conversations with my manager to make sure we are on the same page and aligned to where I want to go. I think this partnership was instrumental to the success of my transition to remote working. A concept that seems so mainstream now! But a few years back before COVID-19, remote working was a negotiation. 

What role do you think perseverance plays in your role?

There’s a goal to accomplish but there’s so much support to get there. Policy change takes a long time, we call it the long burn. I remember working on a three year policy change project to make medicine accessible for our patients. There were times when we thought it was too hard, that it wasn’t going to happen. However, we all pushed through together and had an amazing outcome. It’s this perseverance I want to show to my children. I want them to see if you stay committed to something and work hard you can achieve your goals.

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