Employee story

Meet Karla

#Communications #Purpose #Opportunity
Published: 2022.05.12.
When someone's life depends on the work you do, you'll find purpose.

When I told my parents I was passionate about theater and wanted to be an actress, they were not amused. 

As a top-notch student, my parents expected me to become a lawyer, a doctor or even follow some other ''traditional'' career path that could help earn me a good living wage in my native Costa Rica. 

Growing up with rather limited resources, my parents made a determined effort to give me the tools to become a strong, independent woman.

I knew mastering languages would open many doors to me. This is why I decided to learn English and — fortunately — this allowed me to enter the world of communications and then marketing/business at several multinational corporations. Pursuing this career path also allowed me to strike a compromise between my passion for connecting with people and my parents' expectations.

As the Head of Communications for Roche Services & Solutions (RSS) for the Americas region, I currently look after a sprawling Global Business Services (GBS) organization with more than 900 employees and a solid presence in the ''Tico*'' Business and human capital market. At 42 — and after many years of working in communications — I've never felt that someone's life depends on my contributions.

For the patients and my daughters…
I joined Roche in 2021 — in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. In my quest to become a better communicator, I found that Roche provided me with a platform not only for professional growth but also to have the kind of impact on people I longed for.

When the purpose of the organization is putting patients first, it's difficult to ignore such a strong calling. As a communicator, I see my role as an enabler to fulfill that mission. I'm here to help make Roche a better place and make an impact on the lives of our patients.

The sense of purpose I've found in Roche is not limited to the company's operating principles or the precision of its supply chain. What I learned so far from working in an agile organization has helped me to become more open-minded, focused and — definitely — more aware of the fact that my work is highly connected to finding a cure for someone suffering from a disease. 

In most global organizations with more than 100,000 employees, a single contribution may often be diluted. In my case, this has had the opposite effect. In one year, my drive and enthusiasm have paid off. I was recently nominated to the Women Leadership Program, a Roche Finance program designed to equip two dozen female colleagues with the tools to connect with other high potential women and leaders across the organization. 

The program not only offers an outstanding opportunity for the participants to boost their respective careers but — most importantly — serve as inspirational role models to other women who feel their potential is being held back by organizational, cultural and social norms.

I'm honored to be part of a program that recognizes the key role women from all backgrounds are playing in the transformation of Roche and of our society. I work hard and try my best to be the kind of professional and human being I want my two young daughters to be. I want them to grow up in a world where women’s rights and equal access to opportunities no longer have to feel like a hard-fought privilege.

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