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Women IN Healthcare: What do you need to be successful?

February 19th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 7.25.01 PM

HBA Indiana is conducting a survey of educational needs of healthcare and life science employees of the state of Indiana. If you work in biotech, life sciences, healthcare, pharma, medical devices or healthcare IT, can you please take 5 minutes and complete this survey so we can better assist our healthcare and life sciences community of Indiana? You don’t have to be a member of HBA to participate – and 2 who complete the survey will win a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Caffeine and career development – what more could you ask for?

Also – if you’re seeking more info on our mentoring program from our segment on Inside Indiana Business this past weekend, here it is, just for you!



February 16th, 2017

I’ve got my hat, my puppets and my #HIMSSVirgin T shirt packed!  See you next week at HIMSS, and thanks to Mandi Bishop and Kristin Eilenberg for helping me understand what I need to do in advance of this monster meeting! (And thanks Todd, for letting me record this show!)

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2017

6stepsgenderparityvalentineshowValentine’s Day: admittedly, never my favorite holiday. How mass beheadings led to a day full of hearts, flowers and chocolate is beyond me.

Maybe love really is a battlefield.

Anyway, my valentine to the universe this year is a little different. It’s in podcast form, sparked by a post I wrote over at LinkedIn a few weeks ago during the women’s march.

I can’t think of a better gift to get all of us this year: a little more peace and equity.  A little less bloodshed & battlefields.

Have a great holiday!

Boredom -> Beautiful

February 9th, 2017

I watched a series of TED talks recently, one began with a quote from Flaubert:

“Be boring and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

I watched another TED talk about how leaving the internet made someone…bored.

Boredom, I think, is something that leads to beautiful things.

Case in point: my first book of 2017, written by my co-author, David Borst. He emailed me a while ago and said he was bored.  That led to discussing how to collaborate on a project, and then, a book. (Actually, 2 books in one.)

The other day, I was bored, and so I started thinking of podcasts I could do for Pharmacy Podcast. Bam! I got a great idea for a series, that I’m now working on – hopefully, I can pull it off for our listeners, so I can deliver some kick-dupa content.

I do live a pretty boring, routine life. It’s not half as exciting as others might make it out to be.  But, I think moving forward, I need to foster and grow my boredom, because it can lead to amazing stuff.

The next time you’re bored, monitor yourself. Is that when the great ideas pop into your head?  If so, welcome boredom. Don’t shun it.  Because it could lead you to your next very best thing.

Subscriber Goodies

February 4th, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 8.05.52 AMAfter curating several lists now for several years, I’ve decided that the only way people may access the Google Sheets in the photo now are to subscribe to this tiny blog. Just put your email address over to the left here, complete the two step authentication process with Mailchimp, and you’re in.

However, these lists will also be randomized in my random #SixonSaturday emails, and will only be available for a limited time via viewable links within the newsletters.

Nothing great lasts forever.

Don’t miss out!

More GirlPower Stuff

February 3rd, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 7.39.48 AMAfter 2 crazy weeks, I’m happy to report that this weekend, I’ll be cooling it, and getting back to working on #SWE3.

In the meantime, here’s a roundup of some really cool stuff for women and girls that we’ve been working on or seeing over here at the ranch the last couple of weeks.

Inside Indiana Business/Biocrossroads article on 8 Great Orgs in HIT Healthcare and STEM – many of them focused on women.

The No Limits Radio show I did (or tried to do) this week on Activism.

Interview with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz and Dave Meeker on WIBC about how to manage social media in these interesting times.

Wonder Woman stamps – now available for her 75th birthday, and great for slapping on letters to your CongressMEN about your feelings around new legislation.

Also heading over to a new podcast, (at least new to me) on Get Social Health.

Oh, and WCS Yale applications for the 2017 summer session are now open.

And the ladies of HBA are rocking! Really solid crew I am working with this year.


January 31st, 2017

Today was a tough day…on several fronts.  I don’t know if it was technology, bad mojo, or my sign is not entering a new good phase with the Chinese new year or what…suffice it to say, it was not an easy day.  I did, however, focus on solving problems.  All. Day. Long.

Case in point, my interview today on WFYI’s show, No Limits, about activism.  While I am normally pro-politics and any good old fashioned and spirited debate, today’s show got a little ugly, in my opinion.  It quickly turned from a show about positive action and getting involved to affect positive change, into a political bashing of our new federal administration.

While I’m the last person on the planet to cheerlead for the new administration or its beliefs, I did not go on the show to bash anyone and spread negativity.  I honestly went on the show to share pragmatic, actionable items that people (women in particular), to join/start and do in order to affect positive change in this country.  It has to be a long-term commitment.  It can’t be something changed in one rally or by making one sign or wearing one hat.  It’s something that has to evolve and consistently have energy within it in order to turn the Titanic.  (And yes, our federal government, albeit a limited one according to our founding fathers, is now in fact a Titanic.)

Regardless, here is my list of ideas on how to support gender parity and get more women at the helm of the government and organizations, one more time, just in case you’ve stopped by this tiny blog for a few tips on how to jump in beyond a one-day rally.

And last, while I did not want to spread any more vitriol today, I will leave you with a story about how I feel about people who care.

There’s an ad on my wall of fame that I’ve kept on the wall for many years now. It’s a Virgin ad.  I ripped it out of a magazine.  It says, “People who give a damn, you rule.”

People who give a damn DO RULE.  It’s the people who care who ultimately affect change.  Whether you are worried about immigration, women, education, the environment, or anything else–give a damn. Get involved. For longer than one day.  It’s the only way things change, in light and dark times…

Why I didn’t March Yesterday

January 22nd, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 7.07.39 AMWhat I am about to say may seem controversial; however, I think what I have in mind is just an extension beyond what the millions of protestors felt yesterday when they poured out into cities to march in the USA for women; it’s just a little longer-term thinking.

Hear me out.

I didn’t march yesterday. I didn’t march, because I was trying to run a board meeting for a non-profit that serves women in healthcare, and that is concerned with getting more women at the helm of healthcare organizations, equal pay, and everything you’d expect from an organization that supports women, leadership and gender parity. This day had been planned for a long time, and hopefully, it will positively affect several women and address their leadership skills over the course of 2017.

While I get that a march might be a good start, what happened after all the women (and men) returned to their hotel rooms, or home?  Trump is still in the White House, with his paltry 13% women-led cabinet.

The bottom line: Nothing changed.  

It is what comes NEXT that I think is crucial to women gaining leadership and authority in this country – not a one day march.

Here’s my point: if you REALLY support women and their climb to leadership positions, support gender parity and equal rights for women, a one day march isn’t going to cut it. We have to train, sponsor and support women who attempt and gain leadership positions.  If you REALLY want to support women, here are some humble suggestions that may, at least in my mind, have much longer term results than a one-day march:

1. Help her learn how to run for political office - There are a few solid leadership training programs out there for women to learn what it really takes to run for office (and it takes a LOT, trust me, I’ve been to several political training programs, and I still personally have not run for office yet).  My favorite for very biased reasons is the Women’s Campaign School at Yale - because it is bipartisan, and because it’s real. They train you on what it REALLY takes to run for office. (And I’m here to say, it isn’t easy to run for office. I find the process intimidating, to say the least, and few things intimidate me these days.)

2. Sponsor her in Corporate America - Women have all the mentors they need for right now, thanks. What they really need in order to get into leadership positions are SPONSORS. Sponsors are men and women already in leadership positions who can fight for their ‘sponorees’ when they’re not in the room at the same company.  These need to be senior leaders sponsoring junior up and coming leaders AT THE SAME ORGANIZATION. Men–I’m telling you here that the best way you can step up and help this cause is to start sponsoring more junior women at the company in which you work.  And, I’m talking to senior women here too who think they have zero obligation to bring along the next generation, since they had no support.  You DID have support, and it’s time to pay it back by sponsoring other women, period.

3. Teach and give her opportunities to lead in nonprofits - Schools are not teaching students how to be good citizens and civically minded.  I never had any formal training on Robert’s Rules of Order for running a board meeting, or the very real fiduciary duties of serving on a board (Duty of Care, Duty of Obedience and the Duty of Loyalty)–that is, until I went to law school on the fiduciary duty part, and then I learned all the horrible things that can go wrong when boards aren’t in compliance with fiduciary duties.  We have to train our girls AND boys on how to serve in these capacities, so they can stretch their leadership skills and become good stewards of organizations.  There needs to be some level of formality, like taking notes and follow up that comes out of these boards in addition to and supplementing fiduciary duties, along with civility.  Are we really teaching our girls (and boys) how to be good civic-minded individuals, or just the few and privileged?

4. Teach and give her opportunities to lead in FOR profits - Ditto to #3, but there’s a whole other level and range of issues here – millions or billions of dollars at stake and tens of thousands of jobs vs. a tiny non profit that is all volunteer driven.  Again, where is the training for this?  Boardroom Bound is a course I took on my own.  There are others.

5. Vote with your wallet – Of all the steps above, this is the easiest to implement, and anyone can do it. Write down a list of the top 10 retailers you spend money with. Then, go look at their corporate websites. How many women do they have on their board? How many C-suite officers are women?  If you see no women, just stop buying stuff from their stores. Quit them, cold turkey. If you really want to go crazy, write their CEO a letter and tell him (most likely a him, anyway) why you stopped buying from them, and that you want to see more women on their board and in their C-suite before you consider returning to their company.  Nothing gets corporate America’s attention more than money.  I loved that Pink Magazine used to write up a naughty list–a list of companies with all male boards, and I wish they still did this, because it makes voting with my wallet that much easier.  (You can do this too, by the way, with your political candidates – ask them when they are campaigning how many women staffers they have…this is one of many issues you can bring to their attention that is important to you.)

There. I mean zero offense to the men and women who took the time to march yesterday in protest; I’m glad they did. But, if we really, truly and fundamentally want positive change and gender equality in this country, we’re going to have to do a LOT more than just march for one day, ladies and gentlemen.  We’re going to have to change, step up, and create this evolution the long haul.

January Journal Posts

January 15th, 2017

This is courtesy of Pinterest, and this pin.

What are you most looking forward to?  Scotland in 2017.

Three goals of this month: 1. HBA first event – check. 2. HBA board retreat – almost check, and 3. Dallas for HBA Leadership Conference – almost check. And 4. Finishing the S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring – almost check.

One thing you learned about yourself last year?  That it’s OK to cut bait on something that’s just not working, AS LONG AS…you did everything you could to try and make it work.

Three words that describe your style: 1. creative 2. hard-working 3. futuristic.

A good idea: focusing on one good idea at a time.

The Best Thing to Come Out of the JP Morgan Conference

January 13th, 2017

JP Morgan conference is a big one for pharma. It usually is one of the first conferences for biopharma in January for each new year.

Believe it or not, the best thing to come out of this year’s JP Morgan conference wasn’t any whiz bang drug pipelines, new miracle cures in development, or financial analysis to beat the street.  It actually was this letter, which was signed by over 100 executives of biopharma companies who finally recognized openly that there’s a problem in healthcare leadership: a serious lack of diversity.  I’m glad they’re finally acknowledging what the rest of us already knew–that there aren’t enough women at the helms of healthcare organizations.

If you are unaware of how bad the problem is, check out my slide deck and tracker of this in pharma and healthcare realms:

Who’s At the Helm of US Pharmacy and Healthcare? from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM
Considering women make 80-95% of all the healthcare decisions in this country – for themselves or their families – I’m baffled as to why there is not more diversity in healthcare.  Hopefully, we can turn this ship around!  This is also one of the major reasons why I ran for HBA Indiana President this year.  Their mission is one of mine: to get more women in the helm of healthcare/biotech/pharma/pharmacy organizations.