At Novartis, we value the contributions of women at every level of our business. We are proud to offer women the opportunities they seek, that allow them to explore their passions, develop professionally and address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues.
That is why we are especially proud to share our latest Stories series dedicated to the women in science within Novartis. We look forward to personally introducing you to the women helping develop innovative oncology medicines for people with cancer and related diseases.
In our first installment of “Novartis Presents: Women in Science,” Senior Medical Director, Tania Small, shares her thoughts on finding success and breaking down barriers.
When did you first know you wanted to work in science?
Tania Small: As a child, I wanted to know why things worked the way they did and how to fix them if there were problems. That’s why I naturally gravitated towards science and medicine. Science encourages us to seek out the answers to life’s conundrums. And medicine gives us the ammunition to solve them.
As I matured, I wanted to make my small contribution to this vast world and clinical research was the vessel that aligned with my natural inclination.
What is your advice for young women and girls interested in science?
Tania Small: Your most powerful tools are your mind and your passion! You can use those tools to impact this world and drive change that your predecessors could not even conceive.
As a woman, you have the right to all that this world offers. You design the path that you choose to walk. Never allow anyone to tether you to their expectations. Science levels the plane, so your ability or fate isn’t determined by your gender, religion or race.
The key differentiators that will dictate your success are the power of your unconfined mind, the scope at which you choose to expand it, and your tenacity to do so, regardless of obstacles that may present themselves. My advice to you is to choose your mountain and begin to climb it! Because if it can be done, then you can do it, and if it hasn’t been done, then you can create it!
What is your favorite part of your job at Novartis?
Tania Small: There is no greater feeling than loving what you do. Novartis offers me the opportunity to make my difference in this world. At Novartis, I get to think beyond what is available today and help create treatment options that will improve the lives of millions in the future.
What is the most challenging part?
Tania Small: While it is challenging to be a young woman in this field, all while being a mother, daughter, sister and friend, I embrace the opportunity to break down those barriers that lie before me and help open the doors for so many young, brilliant, talented and eager young minds.
Share one thing people would be surprised to know about you; what is your secret talent?
Tania Small: People may be surprised to know that I used to be a ballet dance teacher!