Letter from the president
As we in the HBA know well by now, the business of healthcare has been disrupted at every level. And research unequivocally shows that women have the skills—and the drive—to lead us all to success in the new health economy. But, with women still occupying less than five percent of healthcare leadership positions, the needle of gender parity is simply not moving quickly enough to get us there.
My experience in rare disease—both as a healthcare businesswoman and as a mother—has taught me the power of collective action. Coming into my term as 2015 HBA president, my primary goal was to help the HBA to flex our full power by channeling our collective energy into creating the biggest impact possible for gender parity. Looking back on the year, I am proud to say that we’ve done just that.
This year, the HBA leadership asked ourselves two important questions: How can we create alignment around our goals, build awareness around the needs and talents of women in the workplace, and be the champions for change? And to what end are we taking these actions?
We started the year by building consensus and collaboration across all stakeholders. We held collaborative meetings to get actionable results, met with chapter boards and held town halls with volunteer leaders to gather direct feedback, and launched a mentoring program to build the confidence and competencies of our board executive committees.
We continued by building awareness of gender parity through events such as the HBA San Francisco JP Morgan event, which brought high numbers of executive women to a traditionally male venue. We increased our visibility through partnerships with the Forbes Executive Women’s Forum, Global Genes,
USA Today International Women’s Day, Business Journal awards, NORD, HealthyWomen, Chicago Life Sciences Consortium and the American Nurses Association.
Finally, we focused on greater impact. We refreshed our strategic plan through 2021, developed a new geographic growth operating model, produced an academic paper on diversity and inclusion, and initiated guidelines of “what good looks like” for companies to follow as they strive toward gender parity.
We answered those two important questions. And, building on the foundation our previous HBA leaders established, we set the stage for the organization’s future legacy. A legacy that will help women to increase their personal accountability, unblock the talent pipeline to allow more women to rise to the
top, and move the needle on gender parity to advance women as stewards of the new health economy.
Wendy White, 2015 HBA president