“Leadership has nothing to do with gender”
10 August 2018
Jacqueline Berlin

Leadership has nothing to do with gender

Dr Sabine Greulich, Country Managing Director and Head of Human Pharma for Boehringer Ingelheim in Italy, is convinced that staff development must be based on performance and leadership competencies. She is responsible for about 970 employees at the three Italian sites Milan, Fornovo San Giovanni (Bergamo), and Noventa Padovana (Padua).


A guest feature by Valerie Fimpel.

When Sabine Greulich started studying medicine at Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany, she did so with the idea of serving patients as a physician after graduation. However, due to a dearth of available jobs she decided to look for opportunities outside of the medical profession.


She spent her first few years after graduation working in public relations with a focus on health care. In 1998, she joined a pharmaceutical company as a brand manager, her first foray into that realm. The agility that she has shown since finishing her degree has paid off, and her career has steadily progressed as she has acquired broader management responsibilities. Sabine Greulich joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2010, transferring to Italy in 2015.


Greulich, a mother of three, places great value on not ascribing specific behaviors or leadership styles to gender. “Of course, the attractiveness of the job and an ethical corporate culture are important to me. Nevertheless, I’ve always striven to eliminate gender or diversity bias. Staff development must be based on performance and leadership competencies,” says Greulich. As far as she is concerned, there are no typical male or female leadership styles. Rather, a person’s individual background, experiences and personality make the difference.


Her own assignments in her native country and abroad, such as understanding and adjusting to different cultures, help her every day. As a German working in Italy, she has the opportunity to tackle change processes differently, “to be disruptive in a positive sense,” as she puts it. That is why Sabine Greulich recommends that all young people embarking on their careers “seek out disruptive, challenging tasks, but never forget to listen to your gut.”

"Seek out disruptive, challenging tasks, but never forget to listen to your gut, says Sabine Greulich. "
Jacqueline Berlin
Sabine Greulich

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