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HBA Montreal Member Spotlight: Mary Tzortzis

What is your current job title?  
I am the Clinical Study Unit Country Head at Sanofi in Canada. In my role, my main responsibilities include driving the clinical development of innovative therapies for patients through operational excellence of clinical study delivery; building strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders; contributing to the evolution of the external clinical research environment, and hopefully motivating and inspiring our team with our vision and direction. The Clinical Study Unit in Canada contributes significantly to Sanofi’s global efforts to develop new treatments. My team is currently overseeing a number of clinical studies in a wide range of therapeutic areas across the country.

I have spent most of my career in medical and clinical roles of increasing responsibility, both locally and globally. However, I started in the pharmaceutical industry on the other side of the drug development journey — in sales. To this day, I value tremendously the understanding of our business that I gained in that role.

Why did you join the HBA?
I have always been passionate about empowering and inspiring current and future women leaders. Gender parity and diversity make good business sense. At Sanofi, I am an executive sponsor to an employee resource group whose mission is to inspire women leaders in our organization. Also, as a mother of a teenage daughter, I strive to encourage and educate girls about the importance of females in the STEM disciplines.

The HBA’s purpose to further the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare is very much aligned with my passion. In 2019, I was honored to be named Sanofi’s HBA Rising Star and was recognized at the HBA Woman of the Year event. There, I was inspired, connected with other members, and learned more about the great initiatives at the HBA. Joining the HBA gave me the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other like-minded individuals, and hopefully, pay forward the inspiration and knowledge.

What are your interests outside of work and the HBA?
I enjoy traveling with my husband and daughter and hope to be able to do so again soon. When in Montreal, I like working out, trying new recipes, and spending time with friends and family often in one of Montreal’s wonderful restaurants.

What or who inspires you?
People, particularly women who are engaged and successful as per their own definition, yet take time to enjoy life.

Fun fact about you
I studied chemistry and pharmacy with the goal of becoming a cosmetic chemist and executive. Along the way, that shifted and I decided to go into the pharmaceutical industry. I loved the idea of being part of an industry that has such a huge impact on people’s health.

What are your favourite quotes?
"You can have it all. Just not all at once" - Oprah Winfrey
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts" - Winston Churchill