Meet Lovette, Head of HR IT Operations and Service Management

Lovette Coston

Interview with Lovette, Head of HR IT Operations and Service Management

From project manager to individual contributor to people manager, Lovette shares her career path and what being a leader means to her.

Why Roche and what keeps you motivated?

I love working for a company helping people. Roche does that by making medicines and extending lives as well as in the development of their employees. Changing and growing keeps me motivated and this company allows for plenty of change and growth.

Tell us a little bit about your career path?

I started my career in HR then moved to IT supporting HR. I moved from a female dominated area to a male dominated area and was often the only female on my team. I also moved from a local/regional team to a global team.

What is important to you in leading people?

It is important for me to see people on my team growing and developing in their careers whether it is taking special assignments, moving to new roles or broadening their skills.

What were your goals and what drove you forward?

My most recent goal was to become a leader of leaders. I sought development opportunities to work with other people leading leaders in order to learn and grow before moving into this role. Sometimes this meant volunteering for special projects or extra activities to gain experience and exposure.

What have you learned on your career path at Roche?

I learned that my career path doesn't have to be straight or up all the time. Growth comes from change that can often be in your same area by way of new locations, new projects, new volunteer activities, or whatever.

What types of support did you get on your career path? Why were these important?

The most supportive person for me is my husband. He left a job he loved to follow me for two years in Basel and eight years later, we are still here. The second most supportive have been my managers. When I have been bored or seeking change, they have encouraged me to try new things or to stretch into new parts of our organization which included moving to Switzerland - I’m from the US. I thank them for trusting that I could do these new aspects. 

What gives you energy and helps you maintain balance at work?

I'm an extrovert so people give me energy. I enjoy social interactions with my colleagues. In the beginning as the only girl that meant being ok with going rock wall climbing. Now, it can include city tours, cooking or simple aperos at the top of the Messe Tower.

How does Roche continue to encourage diversity and bring forward other female leaders?

Women often have to be encouraged to take roles where men just seem to go for them. Therefore, leaders should encourage their female leaders to take new roles even if it might be a stretch for them.

Tags: Career Blog, Information Technology