What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
If I didn’t work in healthcare, I think I would have gone into the art industry. In college I majored in biology and minored in art history and I always loved the way art reflected the history of humanity over the course of time. When you think about it, there is an art and science to the work we do in healthcare and so I think I picked the right career.
Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?
I was at my previous agency, Porter Novelli, for 13 years before joining Ogilvy 16 years ago. Paul Hicks, who was then the U.S. President of Ogilvy PR, recruited me to run the health practice. He gave me new opportunities, including running the New York office, rewarded me for great work and he challenged me to do more. For that I’m thankful and I learned to get out of my comfort zone. I’m now co-leading the health practice for Ogilvy which includes multiple disciplines from PR to advertising.
Work to live, or live to work?
Some combination of both I suppose … I have three kids and I took my maternity leaves but never extended my time off. I do enjoy being a mom and working — it is truly a balancing act but if you love your career you can make it work. I feel incredibly lucky to have a supportive husband and three wonderful kids coupled with a great career.
Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?
When I first started working in health outside of PR I thought it would be difficult. But if you are curious and ask the right questions, you can figure things out. I think curiosity is underrated. It helps you get out of your comfort zone very quickly.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
I think the challenge with healthcare marketing is that we are never on the cutting edge and tend to be the followers. Our clients are understandably risk-adverse so it is very hard to be on the front end of modern marketing in a highly regulated industry.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will …
Support women across my agency, be a mentor and a sponsor and ensure they get equal opportunities for growth in their careers. I have several women who have worked for me more than a decade. They are truly stars and I continue to support their career trajectory and feel rewarded when they are successful.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
My advice to young women is to be curious and ask questions — learning is how you get better. I would also tell them to get out of their comfort zone — once you are too comfortable, you can become complacent. Challenge yourself and embrace the fear because the reward is amazing when you overcome that fear.
Too many songs to choose from but if it is English Beat, David Bowie or The Rolling Stones, I’m happy.
Which three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?
I think a dinner party with David McCullough, Bill Murray and Ina Garten would be fantastic. It would be a cool evening discussion on American history, peppered with terrific humor along with the joy of cooking.