From Paris, France
What’s on your mind right now?
Why is my coffee - already - cold!! Didn't I just poured it?! Or is it that again, I'm doing ten things at the same time and forgetting to drink it? Let me pour it in the plants (again..!) and have another hot one!
Describe yourself in one sentence?
Hyperactive/ Optimistic / Joyful / Fast paced person
How would you describe the glass ceiling you had?
Professional pressure to stay in the system. When you are a doctor, but also want to be an entrepreneur, even if it's only part-time, nobody understands how you can possibily want to do something else than clinical medicine, nor how you could "throw away" 10 years of training... Moreover, back then (in 2012), "doctopreneurs" was unheard of in France...
So as a young/woman/doctor wanting to do a job that was totally out of the box, I knew it was going to requires a lot of imagination, conviction, perseverance, and hopefully some luck!
How did it affect you? How did you feel at the time?
I saw it more like an adventure in the wild. I felt early on that I wanted to do things my way, and on my own, but I felt held back, like a ticking bomb, first by school, then by the university. I couldn't wait to be free ! I had no idea where it would take me, and I often felt totally scared.
How did you realize you had a glass ceiling?
I realized the reality of a glass ceiling when I started to look for opportunities to create a medical start-up among my medical network. People did not get what I was talking about. Everyone was trying to get me "back on track" and to "stop dreaming awake". My glass ceiling was the emptiness above it!
How did you break this glass ceiling?
I "put it out in the Universe" :) I continued talking about my ideas not only among the medical field, but also to my friends and everybody outside: I explained that I wanted to teach healthcare professionals about digital medicine and new technologies, to connect them to engineers, designers and entrepreneurs, and to have them work altogether. I was super lucky to have amazing entrepreneurs friends who spread the word. After just a few months, I found a job as a medical director in a start-up, Ad Scientiam, which had been desperately trying to find a doctor to help them out without any success. Ad Scientiam is using new technologies to do... medical research!
How do you feel about where you are today, after breaking your glass ceiling?
Terrific and nervous!! I now have 3 jobs. I'm a part-time MD, Medical Director in a start-up and Founder/President of an NGO (which aims to fulfill exactly the ideas mentioned in the previous questions ;) ). It's not easy to manage it all and still have a healthy personal life and lifestyle, but how could I complain, I love everything that I do!
What advice would you give to someone going through this glass ceiling?
It's important to realize that breaking your glass ceiling will profoundly change your life. It will open the door for you to accomplish yourself, day after day, and for the rest of your life (or until the next ceiling !). It will make you able to design own your life, create it as you wish it.
It's kind of like before you jump from a high diving board at the swimming pool. You're scared and excited at the same time, it takes you forever to jump the first time, but once you've done it, it's a ton of fun and you immediately want to go jump again! So... do you want to jump?
What are your upcoming projects?
Work wise, it's developing my NGO (Eppocrate) to make it become a high quality and trusted portal for healthcare professionals and the e-health ecosystem. There is a high demand for it and it's a big challenge that I'm happy to take on! Also, I need to learn to better manage my schedule. It doesn't sound like a project, but it requires daily efforts and it's a big part of the success of your other projects !
Tell us about something, like a quote that inspires you?
"There are no problems. Only situations, to be dealt with, or to be left alone and accepted, until they change or can be dealt with." - Eckart Tolle (Power of Now).
Once you've realized it, you can sooo much better control stress, and take actions rather than being lost in thoughts and complaints!