Q&A Jan 19, 2023

Leading With Purpose: A Q&A with Director of Life Sciences Operations for Denmark, Lene Bjerregaard

How inclusive, diverse teams deliver project excellence

Q&A with Lene Bjerregaard Director of Life Sciences Operations for Denmark

Leveraging expertise built during her 25-year career, Director of Life Sciences Operations for Denmark, Lene Bjerregaard, is driving sustainable growth at our new Danish base. Fueled by a passion to help her colleagues reach their full potential and deliver purposeful, impactful projects for Life Sciences clients, we connected with Lene to discuss how inclusion and diversity can make a real difference.  

Let's chat with Lene: 

Can you tell us about your Jacobs journey and the work that you do? 

I joined in July 2022 and my focus is two-fold. I’m making sure that we put the most talented, diverse teams in place to support client projects, both in Denmark and in other countries. I’m also responsible for driving sustainable growth. To ensure we achieve both objectives, I’m augmenting our strong workforce by recruiting strategically for key roles. I’m happy to say that while I am only at the beginning of my Jacobs journey, it has been a phenomenal experience thus far.

What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs? 

I’ve been part of the Jacobs team for only a few months, and I already have a huge sense of belonging. It’s all down to my colleagues, who have supported me every step of the way and made sure that I settled into the role. This kindness and inclusiveness are reflective of the culture of caring that is an integral part of #OurJacobs.  I have never felt so at home.

What has been the biggest challenge and how have you addressed it? 

There have been some challenges, but I was fortunate to be able to draw on great resources and support to overcome them. When it came to establishing the Denmark operation, I was able to lean into other offices to understand the processes required to set up a new base. The jobs market is very hot right now, so finding talented people to work on Life Sciences projects in Denmark could be perceived as challenging. Thankfully, there was a hugely positive reaction to the opening of our new entity, and people in the industry proactively contacted me about opportunities. I feel this is a direct result of the reputation we enjoy for our project teams’ expertise and our ability to consistently deliver high-quality project work.

Can you tell us about some of the projects that you have worked on recently? 

We have a very strong portfolio, both in Denmark and globally. One of the most exciting projects we’re working on is an early-stage process development facility for STEM cells – it’s such an exciting area of medicine with huge potential to change patients’ lives. Our team is also focused on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) projects. Furthermore, we’re also working on a complex program where multiple fill-finish facilities will be delivered across multiple global sites.

“Our role reminds me of the NASA team who put the first person on the moon – drawing on our expertise, we are enabling a revolutionary change in society.”

Lene Bjerregaard

Lene Bjerregaard

Jacobs Director of Life Sciences Operations for Denmark

It must be very rewarding to know that your work has the potential to revolutionize modern medicine and change patients’ lives? 

I’m very passionate about working in Life Sciences. Like my colleagues, I’m driven by the purpose of our work. We’re supporting our clients to develop and deliver new drugs and medicines, which is humbling and very rewarding. Our role reminds me of the NASA team who put the first person on the moon – drawing on our expertise, we are enabling a revolutionary change in society. And with new developments happening in technology, we’re able to deliver more complex projects faster and more efficiently than before.  It’s truly mind-blowing.

Do you think enough is being done to encourage women to join the industry? 

I’m seeing more and more women entering what was traditionally viewed as a male-dominated industry. This is a very positive trend, but obviously more can be done to encourage greater participation by women. Our culture of caring and inclusiveness ensures we deploy diverse teams and bring a wide range of perspectives to bear on each client project. I also passionately believe in the power of role models, and ‘if you can see it, you can be it’. I’m proud to be a woman in charge of our Denmark operation and I hope that my leadership will attract more women to the industry.

What benefits do inclusive, diverse teams bring to projects? 

Ultimately, our clients benefit from inclusive, diverse project teams. Bringing together a group of Life Sciences professionals with a range of insights and expertise right from the start of a project ensures that it will be delivered to the highest standards. Diverse teams also bring softer skills like compassion and caring to the table, which ensures that a project is not solely focused on meeting metrics. It means that we think more about how we get to a target rather than going straight for it.

What are you most passionate about? 

I’m passionate about seeing people develop their careers, and I work tirelessly to achieve that goal. I advise and mentor colleagues, and make sure that they are equipped with the necessary supports to reach their full potential. This also benefits clients as I’m also focused on finding people with the right skillsets and matching them with relevant project work. For me, this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

People would be surprised to know that… 

People would be very surprised to know that I was an adept unicycle hockey player and won a bronze medal at the national Danish championships a few of years ago. In my spare time, I really enjoy a few rounds of golf.

About the interviewee

Lene Bjerregaard

With a laser-like focus on hiring strategically and putting the most diverse, talented teams in place, Lene Bjerregaard is delivering impactful projects for Life Sciences clients in Denmark and across continental Europe.  

Driven by a desire to support professional development, she works tirelessly to ensure her colleagues reach their full potential. Lene also embodies our culture of caring and is a champion of inclusion and diversity. She believes in the importance of role models and hopes that her leadership will inspire more women to work in Life Sciences. 

She understands the importance of deploying teams with a wide range of perspectives to support Life Sciences projects, which will ultimately support clients to develop and deliver life-saving medicines to patients worldwide.  Lene is passionate about the impact of our work and shares her colleagues’ view that supporting on purposeful projects is deeply humbling and rewarding. 

Meet Lene

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable. We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision.

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