Assoc. for Women in Science

Winter 2015

AWIS Magazine covers topics important to women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine fields. Topics include career advancement, work-life balance, the state of science and technology, women’s wellness, and AWIS’ political and

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(ĭn-spīr') Nathalie Bontoux (AWIS Member since 2014) 62 association for women in science | winter 2015 the last word What is your favorite word? Inspirer, it's French. It means both inspire and inhale. How do you define it? I find it fascinating that this verb in French means both to inhale and to inspire. To me, it makes sense and it gives even more power to the word. When I'm inspired, when others inspire me, new perspectives open, my energy goes to the roof and I feel like I'm breathing fresh, crisp and clean air. As if you inhale at the top of a mountain on a clear bright day. When we inhale, we create our future. It is the beginning of the next moment. Inspire others or to be inspired is giving a direction to our future. How has it influenced you during your life and career? Tremendously! As a student I wanted to study all disciplines, from literature to history to math or physics. I was a little bit of a renaissance person. Since I was equally good in these disciplines, it proved very difficult for me to choose a specialization. Eventually, my choices were influenced by people that inspired me. My physics teacher in last year of high school convinced me of pursuing physics, because I liked her rigor and the way she taught. In graduate school I had two majors: one in physics and one in fluid dynamics. It was eventually an article that my dad sent me that sparked my interest for microfluidics – a discipline that bridges physics and classic hydrodynamic. As a leader, many of my values have been shaped by those who inspired me. Humility is certainly something that I've learned from the brilliant scientists that I met. I would like to recognize Claudine Hermann, Albert Fert, Howard Stone, Armand Ajdari and Marie-Claude Potier. I love the way Bertrand Piccard is pushing the edges of his comfort zone, for example with projects like Solar Impulse. And at Agilent Technologies, the one thing that all employees value is the quality of people. There are really many talented leaders, many opportunities to be mentored and if one is brave enough to push doors, plenty of opportunities to be inspired and grow! More generally, I think we should always be looking for inspiration or to inspire others in our daily life. This just sparks life! What is your current job? I'm the go-to-market operations senior director for Diagnostics and Genomics at Agilent Technologies. I lead a team of eight people across Europe and North America. Our mission is to support the sales organization and drive achievement of goals through increased sales effectiveness and a better Agilent customer experience. We develop effective sales processes, tools, training and compensation plans. We also establish and manage the strategic business planning process and lead transformational initiatives, such as the commercial integration of Dako, a company acquired by Agilent in 2012. My team works in close collaboration with the vice president of global DG commercial operations and his regional sales managers.. How would you describe your career? Unexpected, fast-paced, international. Unexpected because I never really projected myself where I am today. I joined Agilent Technologies because I was interested in the research and development (R&D) work they were doing in microfluidics. But I never went to R&D – I joined as an application scientist and after one year I got offered a job in field marketing. I then realized that marketing was my sweet spot and I thrived for three years as marketing program manager for Genomics in Europe. It was a very intense but fun job – working with a team of very committed marketers and R&D scientists. I then briefly went to sales management before coming back to Genomics to create a global field marketing team. What else interests you? So many things! I love traveling and photography. I'm very much into yoga, qi gong, meditation, self- development and mindfulness. I like skiing, swimming, diving, dancing and enjoys dance and music shows. It is also important for me to give back to communities and I'm currently volunteering with an NGO in charge of disabled adults with cerebral palsy. What is the most recent book you finished? A Force for Good, the Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World by Daniel Goleman. I highly recommend it to anyone! A great book to think of our purpose in life and reflect on how we can change the world. =

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