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Archive for January, 2017

Care.

Tuesday, 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

Sunday, 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

Sunday, 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

Friday, 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.

This Tiny Blog’s Media Kit

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

I’ve been quiet – I know. I’m over here trying to get my 2017 groove on.  But the first week was full of challenges.

Anyway, several people have asked me for a list of my services now, so I thought it was time to put together a one sheet media kit on my wares.  It is now here:

ErinAlbert.com Media Kit – 2017 from Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM
I’m still over here working hard to help out my fellow and lady pharmacy and healthcare career kind through various channels and by various means.  One way that I’m working on right now is the spring mastermind class, which you can query by completing this form. And this may be the only mastermind I run in 2017, because I’ve got a few books and other projects to crank out, in addition to awesome gigs and conferences to attend (like HIMSS, and SXSW this quarter).
Regardless, I love helping healthcare professionals re-think their career development.  After all, we are now working and living in an economy where the employers don’t care about your career development.  Only you have the power to make your career go vrooommmmm…..so what are you waiting for?
Let’s work together!
Happy 2017.