Theramexs Jane Griffiths speaks about overcoming barriers

Theramex's Jane Griffiths speaks about overcoming barriers

 May 18, 2023

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Meet Theramex Chairperson, Jane Griffiths, as she speaks with Theramex Senior Director, Global Head of Pricing, Access & Communications, Katja Lundell, about overcoming her self-imposed barriers, embracing equity, and passing on her mother’s inspiring advice to other women.

Discussing female leaders who have inspired her over the years, Jane says: "I have to say that I've probably not been inspired by women leaders per se, but women who I've seen who've done well in the face of adversity, who are close to me or who are my colleagues or my friends. But my big inspiration was my mother to be honest. She also studied chemistry, which at that time was such a male-dominated subject. She gave me a few words of advice when I was struggling with kids and careers, and she said: 'Jane, do not compromise.'"

Navigating self-imposed barriers 

When looking at overcoming barriers, Jane explains: "I don't necessarily feel I've encountered huge barriers because I'm a woman. If they are barriers, they may have been more self-imposed than imposed by others on me. Me feeling I couldn't do this because I was a woman, and I've got a family. I was going to have to make choices. I'm grateful throughout most of my career, I've had female and male bosses and both genders have been equally empowering to me. I'm grateful for that, and maybe I've been very lucky because I have encountered other women who said they have for sure been held back because they were female."

Some words of wisdom for young women 

Offering words of wisdom for young women just starting out in their careers, Jane suggests: "Don't compromise. You can be everything, you can be a partner, you can be a mother, you can be a great employee and have a great career. But the other thing on the way is don't expect to be perfect on every day. You can't be the perfect wife, employee, mother, daughter all on the same day. Choose what you need to be on that day."

Making opportunities available to more people 

Discussing what equity means to her, Jane highlights that equity is about making sure that we can make opportunities available to more people. "And the more you're able to do that, the more diversity you will have in the workforce when reaching into lots of different segments in society and making sure that every team you have in the company represents the society outside. And I think that's very important," explains Jane. 

Inspiring her children to one day strive in their own career 

Offering her advice as a working Mother, Jane shares a touching story about the reality of being a working parent, with Jane's children inspired by her dedication to managing the responsibilities of a family and career. 

"I was on a flight to the U.S. and I watched a film and thought 'Oh no, I've neglected my kids!' So I wrote this long email to them about how much I loved them and how much I hoped they understood how important my career was, but that they were the most important thing to me and I loved them," shares Jane.  

"It went on for pages and I pressed send when I got to the U.S. The following morning when I woke up there were two emails. One from my daughter, who said: 'Ma, I love you. You are an inspiration to me, you make me want to do better in myself.' And a further email from my son said: 'Hey Ma, get over it. We have some great holidays on what you earn!' And it really put it all into context for me that both of my kids dealt with me having a full time career in very different ways. 

"I really encourage people who have a family, and they might feel that tension to have the dialogue with them about work and family," says Jane. "But don't leave it to a random email while you are sobbing on an airplane!"

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