The following is part of a series from our recent virtual advisory roundtable event, Women Leaders in Healthcare During a Pandemic, in collaboration with other women thought leaders from such companies as the Digital Health Coalition, Highmark Health, and Microsoft. Please keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for additional learnings from this event.
More and more women are rising to leadership positions in the healthcare space and it could not have come at a more vital time. As we find ourselves in the midst of a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, the industry and its patients need that unique combination of empathy and a fearlessness to try new things if we want to continue to move forward. Thankfully, that’s exactly what women leaders do best.
“The women on the leadership team are problem solving in unconventional ways, which has caused significant progress in uncovering new solutions,” explains Laura Cruz, VP of Marketing from Global Blood Therapeutics.
The pandemic has created isolation and unprecedented communication barriers, which puts an even greater emphasis on finding new ways to connect. “Companies are now seeing the value of connecting on a deeper level and a women’s ability to do this,” says Chris Zdanowski-Pattinson, Highmark Health’s Director of Strategic Marketing. The importance of connection is pivotal not only in messaging for our marketing, but also for the internal team. “I’ve been able to connect with my team better in the last eight months than ever before,” Zdanowski-Pattinson adds. “I want them to feel safe, heard, and cared for.”
However, holding a leadership role during a pandemic does not mean other duties can be ignored. While work-life balance has transitioned to work-life integration, “before it was a balance between being a mother and having a career. Now it’s both of those jobs, plus a teacher, and a COVID planner,” said Brandi Ascione, Digital Marketing Practice Lead at Evolution Road Consulting. “It has become four full time jobs.”
This pandemic has led to innovation not only in the work healthcare companies do, but within the companies themselves. “As an organization, we’ve changed how we think about the workday for all employees,” said Lynn Clement, EVC of Research Services at the KJT Group. “With more flexibility and advancements in technology, people are able to stay productive and connected, even while apart.”
“I’m seeing equal strength of leadership in both women and men,” explains Jane Mazur, VP of Global Divisional Communications at Hologic Inc. “They each have their areas of focus and are approaching this as a united team by dividing and conquering to ensure success through this for everyone.”