Changing roles while pregnant

Amy Foster talks about how she was encouraged to apply for and take a new role by pharmaceutical company Roche while pregnant and how the interview process was more of a conversation than an interrogation.


Amy Foster is a Disease Level Partner at pharmaceutical giant Roche, working on the company’s breast cancer treatments and liaising with healthcare workers in the South West region. She is just about to go on maternity leave from her role, having only been in position since January.

The pregnancy has been a strange one with Amy not being able to see her friends, although she says it is her first pregnancy so she has nothing to compare it with. It has also been a poignant one. Amy’s mum died suddenly on 23rd March 2020, the day of the first lockdown.

Amy had worked for Roche in the past as a temporary maternity cover back in 2019 and left to go to another company where she was working in a similar role to her current one, but in a different therapy area. Former colleagues told her that the pharmaceutical company was advertising for roles in her area and suggested she apply. Amy had been intending to stay put until her maternity leave, but Roche was top of her list and she says she would have applied after her leave in any event. She says Roche is the best company she has ever worked for. “It is a fantastic company, from the senior leadership to the people on the ground. I was so sad when I left,” she says.


She thought she may not get the job because of her pregnancy. Nevertheless, she sent in her CV as she didn’t want Roche to think she wasn’t interested in working for them in the future. She had to film a short video and was invited to an interview after having rung to explain her situation and expecting not to get any further in the process.

The interview was different to others she has been through at other companies. “It’s more of a conversation and it’s more about you – your motivation to do the job, your passions. They want to get the right person even if you are going to go off on maternity leave for a while,” she says. Amy got the job and started in January. She says the fact that she was hired while heavily pregnant shows Roche acts on its values. “When they say something they mean it,” she adds.

Amy has never worked in oncology before, but was motivated to move over to that area after her mother died from cancer last year, just three weeks after being diagnosed. Amy works full time and travels around the South West visiting healthcare professionals. During the pandemic, however, she has worked from home which she has welcomed during the last few months of her pregnancy.

Amy, who is 38, says she really enjoys working within the pharmaceutical industry – she ‘fell’ into the profession through a friend 12 years ago. “I’ve always been very independent,” she says, “and my job is an important part of my identity.”

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