Assisting Scientists in Securing Suitable Positions in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Meet Jennie Kelly, Co-founder at WorkAround and Operations consultant at Scismic, a Massachusetts-based talent matching platform that offers online career tools in life sciences. 

Jennie Kelly didn’t know how things impact women differently until she started working. She always had positive influences around her, and the issue never was a hurdle for her. But soon enough, she understood the way society works, treating women as outsiders all the time and denying them opportunities. Kelly grew up in a middle-class family where she learned from a very early age that she cannot let anyone decide what she wants to be. She likes to get things done as efficiently as possible with utmost precision. Jennie likes to take on new opportunities as they are presented to her. She has worked in several industries in three different continents over the course of her career. 

She currently works as a consultant contractor at Scismic, a talent matching platform for the life sciences. It is a female-led organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her role in the company involves finding suitable positions for scientists in the industry. It helps provide equitable information of the employers stressing on the strengths and skills rather than the resume formatting, gender, and nationality of the candidate. On the platform, the candidate’s scientific skills are given more priority. It saves time and matches the right candidate with the right company. It gives minorities and women of color a much better shot at finding the right company. The percentage of female hiring through Scismic is almost double than that of its fellow organizations. 

Talking about her own organization, she says, “WorkAround was designed to help refugees living in host countries that would not allow them to work locally, make money by working remotely online”. It helps sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by displaced people and helps them live their lives with dignity. 

Jennie struggled to get her ideas heard in the early years of her career. People didn’t take her seriously because she was young and didn’t have an advanced degree. She didn’t understand the importance of relationships or how to present proposals, so they come off only as suggestions, not judgments. “I’m better about that now, but still struggle with tact and understanding how emotions and social interactions impact company culture, and how to create teams whose energy and interactions work together to fuel improvements, rather than teams who work at cross purposes due to conflicting personal styles despite having shared work goals,” she says. 

She loves genuine feedback and suggestions for improvement because it means that the customers are actually interested in what the company has to offer. Kelly emphasizes on the significance of plan, action, and evaluation both for the business and her personal growth. She likes to apply all the start-up theories and business practices to her everyday life and relationships outside the business as well. 

Jennie strongly upholds gender equality and condemns the challenges that are put forth by society to hold women back. Nothing should stop talent from prospering. Leaving a message in this regard for her readers, she says, “I believe there is nothing inherently different about the abilities of men or women to succeed. I believe the social systems we create that give women more barriers to overcome in order to be successful. I also believe that these barriers can be used to your advantage to learn faster, work harder, be smarter, and gain resilience which makes you overall a more well rounded and ultimately more successful and happy person than those for whom our societal constructs work in their favor to make things come to them more easily”.