Showcasing the women who are pioneering market access technology

Written by Rozz Chowdhury

In this update, we showcase our four IT product visionaries. These are women who are challenging the status quo of pharmaceutical market access through innovations in technology.

Why are there so few women in IT? 

Data from the Women Tech Network1 shows that in Europe only 17% of information and communications technology (ICT) specialists are women, and only 34% of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates are women. 

This translates into a noticeable scarcity of female applicants for new positions within our growing information technology (IT) and digital application teams. 

Despite this, I am proud to say that 100% of the leaders for our digital applications are women. These visionaries are capturing our clients’ needs for smarter market access solutions and working with me and our IT experts to deliver innovative digital applications. 

Who are the women that are pioneering advances in market access technology? 

We asked our product visionaries to discuss their pioneering traits, define their view of leadership within the technology space, and explain how they are driving a culture of digital excellence within the company and for our clients. Here’s what they said:  

Sotiria Papanicolaou, Partner

“A pioneer inspires their colleagues to grasp new opportunities. They have the confidence to inquire, challenge, and explore. I am proud that women are among the pioneering visionaries of our digital applications. This isn’t something we set out to do, it’s just common sense to have a diverse mix of talent at every level to meet the multiple needs of our market access clients. 

Data1 shows that women are under-represented in the IT industry and, in some companies, there is a glass ceiling with a decreasing number of women on the higher rungs of the management ladder. In our company, there are more women in the Executive Leadership Team than men. We just want the right person in the right role, doing the right thing for our business and our clients.” 


Anja Pownell, Associate Director

“For me, a pioneer thinks less about the ‘what’, and thinks more about the ‘so what?’ It’s the difference between information and insight. It’s the way of thinking that inspires joined-up strategy and promotes collaboration. 

Breaking down siloed ways of working is important to me. I am one part of the jigsaw puzzle. My role as the product visionary for PRMA Tracker® is to share the picture we need to create, then bring together all the pieces for our clients and internal experts. That’s how we translate the overall vision into tangible user stories and wireframes and bring our market access solutions to fruition.” 


Jan McKendrick, Executive Director

“As a STEM graduate, I have always taken pride in my problem-solving abilities, looking for the potential in a situation, however great the challenges. This lends itself very well to the technology sector where pioneers need to have a clear vision while constantly evaluating and adapting  allowing your vision to be shaped by different perspectives and experiences, being prepared to do something new but also being tenacious about seeing ideas through to completion. 
A pioneer plays to their strengths and stays true to themselves. Even when I have attended business meetings where I am the only female, I have never seen that as an issue  I have confidence in the experience and expertise that brought me to this position. 

Communication and collaboration are two of the important traits in the digital space. I am just one person within a team. We all share a passion for innovation, and we are curious about how technology can drive efficiencies in the market access sector and generate results for our clients. For me, that’s what digital excellence is about. I find immense satisfaction in creating meaningful value for our clients; from improving the day-to-day user experience, to helping drive the best possible market access outcomes. 

You can see an example in this digital transformation project that I lead in the Asia-Pacific region. It shows how the client adopted PRMA Healthcheck® to transform processes and drive optimal market access for their products. Results like that are rewarding and motivational for me and the team.” 


Sophie Clayton-Welch, Associate Director

“For me, to be a pioneer means pushing boundaries and evolving our services to meet both our advisors and our clients’ needs. 

Pioneering the vision for the PRMA Access Accelerator® digital application is exciting, especially when we identify a new area for development, and I can capitalize on the skills of our IT specialists to test this and bring it to life! 

I have seen that there can be more than one route to bringing a solution to realization. It’s important to stay open-minded, be curious, and consider other people’s perspectives because opportunities can be missed if we don’t do so. A successful leader must be open to hearing other people’s views regardless of role, age, gender, and race. 

I am proud that the diversity within the teams I work with has brought a broad range of thinking and varied ways of working into the development of the PRMA Access Accelerator® and has helped us deliver speed, efficiency, and reduced costs for our clients.” 

Diversity in our teams is invaluable. Diversity drives innovation and we encourage different approaches and perspectives in our collaborative partnerships. If you or someone you know wants to join our IT or market access teams, please get in touch. 


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