Inspirational, Purpose-Driven Global Leader

Ester Banque is an inspirational and purpose-driven global leader whose patient-centric focus shapes who she is and how she leads.

During two decades with Novartis, Banque has consistently been recognized for her ability to build high-performing teams, drive innovation and launch superior products.

Her success is shaped by three leadership principles: Be your authentic self; act with purpose; and unleash people’s potential. Her colleagues say her tenacity and commitment to fight for what’s right for patients, customers and the teams she leads – have positively impacted Novartis’ culture and strengthened connections to the diverse stakeholders the company serves.

As a senior executive with Novartis, Banque has established a strong track record of global performance by embracing change, and championing diversity and inclusion. She says being a woman in her profession has been a blessing. “Earlier in my career, there were often times when I was the only woman in the room. Being different forced me to develop an inner strength, to trust my instincts, to follow my true purpose and to eventually pave the way for others,” she said.

As a university student, Banque channeled her boundless energy and competitive spirit as a player on Spain’s National Women’s Soccer Team. Her focus on making a difference in the world, coupled with her passion for scientific innovation, led her to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Starting in sales, she assumed roles of increasing responsibility leading commercial teams covering over 50 European countries and the US. Her leadership extended across a spectrum of high-performing therapeutic franchises including women’s health, cardiovascular and metabolism, hematology, immunology and dermatology.

As vice president and head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Immunology & Dermatology Business Unit, Banque leads a team of 400 associates. She has established a reputation as a product launch and turn-around expert, receiving many accolades while putting the patient first and driving business results. She is committed to supporting the LGBT community – evidenced most recently by her efforts to develop a partnership with the True Colors Fund in their fight for LGBT youth as part of their New York City Steering Committee.

She says the most important quality a woman leader should have is the ability to inspire – “to share a vision with others while remaining humble, compassionate and vulnerable.” She lives by the words “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Banque holds a BS in chemistry from the Universitat Autónoma Barcelona, a post graduate degree in pharmaceutical marketing from IDEC/Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and an MBA from IDEC/Universitat Pompeu Fabra.