At STERIS, Mollohan worked her way from assisting with R&D programs to being the manager of a very talented and diverse team of validation specialists. They assist medical device manufacturers with their ethylene oxide sterilization needs, to ensure the products they supply to the public meet the stringent requirements of the medical device industry.
What first drew you to MedTech? When did you first know you wanted to be in the industry?
Mollohan: I fell into medtech by accident as I wasn’t aware of it as a career path when I was in college. My original plan was to follow in the footsteps of my aunt and uncle who worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. When my husband and I moved to South Carolina, I found the job at the laboratory, and it was there that I learned about the medical device industry.
What projects, past or present, have made you love what you do?
Mollohan: My favorite part of this job is knowing that when a project is completed successfully, I had a small part in bringing a life-saving device or a device that improves life-quality to those that need it.
What projects are you most looking forward to?
Mollohan: I look forward to seeing the evolution of ethylene oxide sterilization. So many changes have been made in the past 15 years that are driving sustainability and efficacy of the process and the medical devices that utilize it. Reducing ethylene oxide consumption and optimizing the sterilization process is top priority for my company and being on the ground-level with these changes is very exciting!
What are some of the barriers women face in today’s medtech industry, if any?
Mollohan: I think the barriers women face in medtech are getting fewer as the years pass. There are more college and university courses offered in medtech fields now and more opportunities for women to explore what branch of medtech they are drawn to.
Describe your biggest leadership challenge. How did you conquer it or resolve it, or what was the outcome?
Mollohan: My biggest leadership challenge has been delegation. I’ve had to overcome the need to control every aspect of how my team operates and trust them to fly solo and successfully, which of course they have!
Talk about your leadership skills. What is the most important lesson you have learned that has guided you in your career?
Mollohan: I have patterned my leadership skills after the mentors who have helped me get to where I am today. I will never ask my team to do something I have not done or will not do. As a manager, you must be willing to get in the trenches with your team.
In your opinion, what more can be done to promote greater participation of young women in the medtech industry today?
Mollohan: We somehow need to expose young women of all ages to the various opportunities in the medtech field. It needs to start in elementary school and follow them throughout the school years. There is no one size fits all answer, but engaging girls at a young age plants the seeds for their future interests.
Why is it important for companies to be more inclusive and have more women in charge?
Mollohan: Diversity is key in any work environment. Everyone can bring a different perspective to a job and the collaboration that ensues makes for a strong team. Having women in management positions is just one way a company can grow and compete in today’s landscape.