From Victim to Fixer

Joan Lau already had a family—a compassionate partner and young daughter—and she didn’t think she needed one at work. But when she found herself in crisis, women came forward to help her, and she discovered what she’d never thought possible: sisters-in-arms who pressed Lau to step out of a boss’s shadow and rocket her career in a new direction. They made her believe she could do it, even in biotech, a field nearly devoid of women.

Lau had labored for eight years at Merck, the healthcare mammoth, in R&D, project management, and corporate business development. In these roles she was visible to senior staff, but she wasn’t a leader herself. In her own words, she was a back-office, chief-of-staff kind of gal—strictly middle management. ...

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