Paula Taylor Whitfield joined Eli Lilly and Company in 1987 and ascended to her current position as the general counsel for Europe, the functional leader of the European Legal group, and a member of the Corporate Law Division’s Executive Committee.
In Whitfield’s 16 years with Lilly, she has served within numerous sectors, ranging from the Information Technology Division through Lilly’s Research Laboratories, Global Regulatory Affairs and Medical Division. Her responsibilities have carried her across the globe from Latin America to Europe and recently back to the United States.
Early in her career, a supervisor advised Whitfield to “be abundantly clear about where I saw myself within the organization and where I wanted to go in the succeeding years,” says Whitfield. “I needed to appropriately communicate my goals and aspirations to those who would have input and insight on my ability to achieve them.”
Whitfield has also found that being honest and forthright with people she manages is another helpful key. “It is not so important that one be ‘liked’ but imperative that one be respected. The key is to treat others as you would like to be treated, with honesty, clarity and integrity.”
Whitfield, a native of Illinois, earned her B.S. degree from Illinois State University and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.
From the March/April 2003 issue of Diversity & The Bar®