Spearheading leadership development as a woman in STEM: Hélène​​​​​​​ Trottin

Helene Trottin headshot

This Saturday (11 February) marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Meet Hélène Trottin, Senior Technical Specialist at Pharmaron, who following her Biochemical Engineering studies identified an opportunity to further enhance her leadership skills and business knowledge through a Level 7 Senior Leader apprenticeship. We spoke to Hélène about her experience and journey to take on a leadership role as a woman in STEM.  

Tell us a little about yourself

Following my Biochemical Engineering studies in France, I decided to start my career in the UK… and I’ve never left since! I have 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, leading both early and late-stage projects for a range of biologics products. I currently work as a Senior Technical Specialist at Pharmaron, a leading life science R&D service company, where I drive innovation and provide CMC expertise and leadership for gene therapy projects at our Gene Therapy CDMO in Liverpool.

When did your passion for STEM begin and what drew you to this vocation?

I’ve always liked studying science in school, and my university placement really helped me apply theory to practice. For me, working in science was the perfect opportunity to combine the excitement of developing innovative drugs and problem-solving, with the reward of improving patients’ lives around the world - this was enough to convince me!

Is there anything you have achieved that you are particularly proud of and why?

I recently obtained an MBA, through the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA)’s ATAC programme. It was an intense but rewarding experience, which allowed me to further enhance my leadership skills and business knowledge. I have a scientific background, and it could sometimes be hard to understand why an organisation makes certain decisions or how to challenge practices in the right way. I now feel as though I have the knowledge and skills to do this.

Please share a positive experience you had, perhaps with a mentor or taking part in a programme, which propelled your career and gave you more visibility.

Between 2017-2019, I had the opportunity to join the BIA Manufacturing Advisory Committee Leadership Programme (MAC LeaP), which was an eye-opening experience. It helped me create a professional network, increase my industry knowledge (specifically any common challenges and best practices), and develop new soft skills essential to any leaders – all benefits that made a real impact on my career.

If you could invite any scientist or entrepreneur to dinner, who would it be and why?

It would be Claude Grison, a French researcher and entrepreneur who won the European Inventor Award in 2022. She found an innovative way to depollute soils using plants. While it’s totally different from what I do in my job, I think I could learn a lot from her, whether regarding innovation, sustainability in science or being a woman in a leadership position.


More like this

Continuity and change: Labour’s life science strategy

​​​​Herbie Lambden, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Executive at the BIA, provides a rundown of the BIA Committee Summit, which took place in Westminster on 21 February.

CEO Update - 22 April 2024

The UK's engineering biology scene was out in force at a Number 10 Downing Street reception last week. It was great to celebrate the developments in our community network together with ministers and investors.

Step up and create more inclusive workplaces within the biotech sector

In last year’s Diversity and Inclusion in UK Biotech survey conducted by the BIA, hearing loss emerged as one of the most prevalent disabilities. With Deaf Awareness Week 2024 (6-12 May) fast approaching, the BIA has teamed up with its charity partner, RNID, to offer valuable resources and initiatives for creating more inclusive workplaces across the biotech sector.

Investing in life science – learnings from the first round of investments from Discovery Park Ventures

Launched in May 2022 by thriving life science community Discovery Park, Discovery Park Ventures (DPV) is an investment fund that invests in ambitious and growing life sciences companies, driving disruptive innovation and catalysing economic growth. Initially a £1 million fund, DPV has now expanded to £3 million.


More within