For Female Pharma Execs, The Glass Ceiling is Cement  
4/16/2012 7:59:33 AM

Avon’s success in recruiting Sheri McCoy as CEO is a coup. McCoy ran the global pharmaceutical business at J&J, and the company considered her as a replacement for outgoing CEO Bill Weldon in February. Instead, J&J’s board handed the reins to Alex Gorsky. Avon needs change that is more than skin-deep, and McCoy may be the woman for the job. But the pharmaceutical industry also desperately needs women of her caliber. McCoy’s exit underscores how few women survive and thrive at the top. We are not dealing with a glass ceiling in pharma — glass shatters if you apply force. This ceiling has all the characteristics of cement.