First Female Head Of Food & Drug Administration
First Female Head Of Food & Drug Administration
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  • 승인 2004.09.09 00:00
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   In Korea, many people consider the pharmacist a woman? job. Nonetheless, there are not many female pharmacists who hold high positions in the pharmaceutical sector. On July 29, Yang Ji-sun (81, Industrial Pharmacy) became the first female Director General at the Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA). She is the Director General of Drug Evaluation Department, which evaluates newly developed drugs or cosmetics and gives them qualifications for sales. The following is an interview with Yang:
   Q: How do you feel about being the first woman Director General in KFDA?
   A: About 70 percent of the staff members in our department are women, so it is natural for a woman to become the Director. I do not think there are any differences between genders in their abilities or performances. Rather, it is one? individual capability, devotion or attitude, which bring different results.
   Q: Have you ever experienced any sexual discrimination in KFDA?
   A: I did not have any particular experience myself. But, it was not always possible for women to reach to this position. Lee In-jae, one of the first women to work at the KFDA retired as head of office (a position right below Director General) while many of her male subordinates reached the position of Director General. Now there is not as much sexual discrimination as before, but quite often I still attend meetings where there are only men present. Lee In-jae mentioned she even had her lunch in dark rooms because it was embarrassing to eat in front of the men.
   Q: What was the most impressive moment in your career at KFDA?
   A: I think separation of the dispensary from medical practice in 2001 was the most difficult but precious moment of my working experiences. I stayed up all night for several days preparing new regulations for the new system. I had to defend fellow staff members, as well as myself, since some people doubted the new laws. But I decided to take the critical moment as a new opportunity. Maybe it had been a large factor in my promotion (laughter).
   Q: Any advice for Ewhaians?
   A: It is very important for students to have a vision about their future. Making clear long-term objectives for as far as 20 years and as short as one year enables you to live a more focused life. I didn? actually have a clear goal when I was an undergraduate student, but I set one in graduate school. After I made a goal, I was able to work harder to reach it.
   Q: Lastly, what is your goal as the new Director General?
   A: Almost one month has passed since I became the Director General. I will first try to cheer up the staff members since they are demoralized by the recent PPA crisis. Then, I will try to assure the use of specialty, equity, efficiency, and transparency in evaluating medicines and cosmetics, which is the most important duty of our department.

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