Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Eli Lilly and Co.

Sphere of Influence: As senior vice president of human resources for Eli Lilly and Co., Mahony is the company’s senior-most leader responsible for the firm’s efforts to expand diversity. A native of the United Kingdom, she holds both a Ph.D. in pharmacy and an MBA from the London School of Business.

Mahony (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Sue Mahony, 46, often shares the story of how her grandmother helped motivate her to achieve. “Whenever I thought I couldn’t do something, she would say, ‘Susan, there is no such word as can’t,’” she recalled. “She taught me that if you set your mind to something and work hard, it’s amazing what you can achieve. And that there is often more in our control than we think.”

Mahony’s grandmother also never shied away from speaking the truth, even if it hurt. It’s something her granddaughter tries to emulate by providing honest but respectful feedback to employees. Among a great many other assignments, she served as general manager of Lilly Canada until 2009 and was global brand development leader for the blockbuster drug Cymbalta.

These days she’s become the company’s most senior leader responsible for expanding Lilly’s attention to diversity. The issue matters, she says, for a couple of practical reasons. First, attracting and retaining a diverse workforce is important for a company in a diverse business environment. Secondly, such varied perspectives could provide the novel insights that lead to new medicines.

It’s equally important to promote diversity among health care users as well. “In general, fewer minority patients participate in clinical trials, resulting in more limited information on medicines’ safety and efficacy in those populations,” Mahony said.

Lilly has developed a clinical diversity strategy to better understand patient differences that may affect outcomes and to help increase the enrollment of racially and ethnically diverse populations in U.S. clinical trials. This strategy will help the company better understand the efficacy, side-effect profiles and risks in minority groups—the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

Lilly may need all the help it can get over the next few years, when it faces patent losses on some key products. “This will challenge us as an organization and as leaders,” Mahony said. “I believe the biggest challenge and opportunity that I and other leaders face is to ensure that our employees are inspired and engaged through the changes and challenges that we will face as a company. Retaining, developing and engaging talent through these changes is a priority of mine.”

In her off hours Mahony and her husband, John, spend a great deal of time shuttling their son, Thomas, and daughter, Rebecca, to soccer matches. Family vacations are usually spent skiing or on the beach. “My idea of perfect relaxation is reading a book in the sun with a glass of wine,” Mahony said.

Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The Affordable Care Act is not the reason for the slow recovery and lack of high paying jobs for low skill workers. This is a trend that has been going since the early 80's. The recovery is real in the sense that GDP has been growing steadily at a rate of roughly 2.5% since the recession ended in late 2009 (newsflash, the stimulus worked) and the unemployment has been steadily dropping. The reason issue we are facing deals with a skills gap (not enough workers with the right credentials / experience) and wage stagnation due to corporate America being focused solely on maximizing profits for shareholders and not caring about the American middle class. Why should they? Multi-billion dollar mutlinational companies keep offshoring their profits in order to avoid paying taxes (which makes our deficit worse) they convince Americans to fight amongst themselves. If you want to create jobs and reduce the deficit, raise the minimum wage and change corporate tax laws. Of course, if you want to continue to belive that tax cuts for wealthy create jobs (which they don't) and allow corporations and the wealthy to continue to make you cover more and more of the costs of maintaining infrastructure, funding the military and other government services, then keep voting Republican. Hopefully someday you wake up and realize what's been going on since Reagan took office.

  2. Helloooooo, my name is Kate. I am so joyous to share this wonderful testimony about what Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, did for me and my family. I wedded a year and 6 months ago, we were very happy during this whole period, i really love my husband so so much. I started noticing changes when he started coming home late at night, he stop paying attention to me, i later found out that he was having an affair with another lady, i dont know what she did to get to him but she really got a hold on him. He started spending weekends with her, and threaten for divorce. I was so heart broken and devastated, i spent many night thinking on how to get my husband back. A friend took it upon herself to to introduce me to one Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, who once helped her with a spell that reunited her family and helped her husband secure a very prolific job. Though i had my doubts and never believed, but i decided to give it a try because i was helpless. I contacted Dr. Osoijiakhena, the Spell caster, to help me reunite my family by bringing back my husband from that other woman and break whatever hold she had on him. He only just told me that it's a minor issue, once i provide and do everything he will ask me to do, then i will have my family back again. I did everything he required. And he did it!!!!! My husband returned back to me and pleaded for forgiveness, and i also secured a well paid job in a big company, just as the great spell caster, Dr. Osoijiakhena said. I am so so happy to share my testimony on this wall. I am using this medium to tell every one that has same or similar problem to try the great Dr. Osoijiakhena through his mail: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com......he is so real!!!!! He can also help you with: (1) IF YOU WANT YOUR EX GIRL/BOYFRIEND TO RETURN BACK TO YOU (2) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE BACK (3) IF YOU WANT TO BE PROMOTED IN YOUR OFFICE (4) IF YOU WANT YOUR MAN OR WOMAN TO LOVE YOU (5) IF YOU WANT A CHILD (BARREN) (6) IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH/WEALTHY (7) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE TO BE YOURS FOREVER (8) IF YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED AND WANT YOUR MONEY BACK (9) IF YOU ARE HAVING DELAY IN GETTING MARRIED (10) IF YOU HAVE A COURT CASE AND WANT TO WIN (11) IF YOU'RE A DRUG ADDICT AND YOU WANT TO REALLY STOP (12) IF YOU CANNOT IMPREGNATE A WOMAN (STERILE) (13) ALL TYPES OF DISEASES I advise you to contact the great Dr. Osoijiakhena, the spiritualist for solutions via his email: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com

  3. Sergeant McNally is buried in Cathcart Cemetery on a hill known as McNally%u2019 Hill. The Cemetery is in a natural bushland setting and is very well maintained.The emergency department at Ararat Hospital is known as the John McNally Emergency Department. Cathcart is approx. 4.6 km from Ararat and is approx. 345 m above sea level.

  4. My spring chicken of a Mom is turning 75 years young. She is a big fan of Frankie and I think she would get a big kick out of the film. I wanted to take her to the Broadway play but am priced out. Thanks for your time and consideration. Oh yea, Wildwood! Joie

  5. I thought this company would go bankrupt in 2013/2014. I predicted that four years ago. I was wrong. It will take another couple of years, but they will get there.