For this interview, Phacilitate’s Becky Johnson-Kent speaks with Angela Justice, Cheif People Officer, TCR2, about what to expect from the session Angela is to Chair, ‘People Behind the Cures: Recruitment, Opportunity and Diversity for the CGT Workforce’ at Advanced Therapies Week 2023.
Could you start by introducing yourself and tell us a little about what you’ll be speaking on at Advanced Therapies Week 2023?
Hi, I’m Angela Justice and I’m the Chief People Officer at TCR2. Being the Chief People Officer for a growing cell therapy company means that I’m constantly thinking about what it takes to get the right people in the right roles at the right time, and ensure that we have a culture that reinforces what it takes to be successful as a company and deliver on the potential therapies we’re developing.
What are some of the challenges associated with the workforce and talent in the advanced therapies industry?
I think one of the primary challenges is simply ensuring that we have a sustainable pipeline of talented, qualified people to execute the demanding roles that we all have to fill to deliver these therapies to patients – making sure that we are finding people that have the right qualifications and the right skills. But also, and in my mind more importantly, the right mindset, and the right approach to working in a collaborative environment. Then we need to have the systems, the structures, and, the processes in place to support the culture and the talent, and move them through the organization so they continue to develop and grow as we continue to advance therapies through the pipeline.
What are some of the things that you are looking forward to discussing during your session?
I’m really excited to hear from the audience, and from others who are speaking in this track, about the challenges they’re facing, and perhaps how some of these challenges have evolved over time. Certainly, the market is very different now than it was a year or two years ago, and with that comes new challenges from a people, culture, and organizational perspective.
I’m really curious to hear how other leaders are thinking about this, what they’re doing to solve these challenges, where they’re seeing new opportunities, and how they’re reframing what they’re thinking knowing the context; that the world that we’re in is ever-changing.
Where do you see the discussions and solutions surrounding workforce and talent in this Industry moving within the next five to ten years’ time?
I hope we see a number of changes and plenty of evolution. One change that I do believe we’ll see is an increase in diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workforce. I know that’s something that a lot of leaders and a lot of organizations are focused on, and it is something that’s deeply important to me. If anyone has heard me speak they’ve heard me talk about belonging as the key to unlocking the power of a workforce. Creating organizational cultures where people feel like they truly belong and their voices are heard is what will drive innovation and advances for patients. We’ll continue to see more and more diverse talent moving up and through our organizations and more and more people from diverse backgrounds entering the field.
Five years from now we’re going to see the conversation shift more from ‘How do we ensure diversity?’, to ‘How do we unleash the potential of our diverse workforce to drive more innovation, more access and more strides for patients.’
What are you looking forward to about Advanced Therapies Week 2023?
Advanced Therapies Week is always an incredible opportunity to connect with other thought leaders and people in this field. What I look forward to most about Advanced Therapies Week are the conversations that happen in the hallway. I love hearing the other speakers, I love hearing the panel discussions, and then what I truly love is the opportunity to bring that back to real life – in the hallway and back into the workforce. I always learn a lot. I’m always inspired. Advanced Therapies Week, to me, is that opportunity to refresh for the year, re-focus, and, reignite that passion that we all have!
Don’t miss Angela Justice’s presentation‘People Behind the Cures: Recruitment, Opportunity and Diversity for the CGT Workforce’, Advanced Therapies Week, Miami, 19th January, 13:30 EST. Join us at Advanced Therapies Week >>
Lee Buckler, SVP Advanced Therapies, Blood Centers of America, Advanced Therapies Network, reflects on two decades of working within the advanced therapies industry as Phacilitate celebrates 20 years of operating in the field.