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HBA's 2019 Annual Conference


Pharmaceutical Executive

Takeaways from the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association's 2019 Annual Conference.

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) hosted its 2019 Annual Conference to a sell-out crowd in San Diego, November  11-12. More than 900 attendees gathered to network, share best practices, and acquire skills and solutions to help drive innovation and advance gender parity initiatives in the healthcare and life sciences workforce.

Conference participants took advantage of discussions focused on the “intersection of healthcare, leadership, and technology” conference theme. Educational sessions offered a mix of relevant topics from Beyond Bias: Awareness, Disruption, and Improvisation to Squirrel! Getting and Keeping the Attention of Today’s Listeners.

Keynote presentations featured speakers like Nancy Giordano, a leading futurist who shared insights on how current cultural and technological shifts are effecting business cultures. Author and mentoring expert Mary Stutts spoke to the compelling attestation of the power of women advising women.

This year’s HBA Woman of the Year Sharon Callahan-read her Pharm Exec profile here-was also on hand and led a panel discussion with JLABS’ Melinda Richter and TRG Healthcare’s Joe Wilkins talking about how non-traditional industry partners are working together in innovative ways to improve patient outcome.

Conference highlights also included the presentation of the 2019 ACE Awards recognizing industry initiatives that have proven to accelerate greater equity for women in the workplace.

Honorees Eli Lilly, EMD Serono and W2O took center stage to share how their programs have had a tremendous impact on their respective workplaces. Lilly’s Women’s Initiative for Leading at Lilly boosted the number of women in company management to 44%. EMD Serono’s Women in Leadership has more than doubled the number of women in senior leadership positions. And W2O’s innovative Your Fourth Trimester® program has been successful in helping moms transition back to work-retaining 96% of working moms after the birth of a child.

As HBA’s president and CEO Laurie Cooke shared, “These stellar initiatives merit recognition not only because they have significantly benefited the company’s female and male workforce, but just as importantly they are real and tangible examples of what is possible, to help women advance further, faster.”


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