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Episode 20: A walking contradiction: how Ral Ogbah’s changing lives by doing things a little differently

For this month’s Race in STEM podcast, global community manager Steven Fuller caught up with Rapulu (Ral) Ogbah, a pharmacovigilance and lifecycle management quality assurance professional based in the UK.

Born in Nigeria and part of the Igbo tribe, Ral moved to Ireland when he was a child and has lived in Europe ever since. Family has always had a huge impact on his educational and career journey: “A whole lot of my upbringing has always been dictated by my immediate family, specifically my parents and even more specifically, my mum, who had a huge influence on my life. So growing up in an African family, there’s always that element of, you must respect your elders, you must respect authority, you have to listen.”

But Ral’s not the kind of person to blindly accept the world for what it is. In fact, he’s already recognised as a powerful changemaker in life sciences. He’s the founder of the Black Pharma community, which aims to amplify voices and increase the representation of ethnically diverse professionals across the pharmaceutical industry.

“I would actually say I’m a walking contradiction, because I wanted as much as possible to follow my own path, and I am quite headstrong. Anybody who knows me would describe me as a contrarian. I would do things exactly the opposite to what the general population is doing. Whether on purpose or not, I’m not 100% sure!”

Listen to the complete conversation to hear more about the impact of family on Ral’s career, how he became an associate director for lifecycle management, regulatory compliance and PV QA for a global pharmaceutical company, and how Black Pharma is changing the lives of students, graduates and experienced professionals across the UK, US, Africa and Asia.