Becky Chidester 
CEO, Wunderman Health

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.

Pass It On is an initiative for women at Wunderman for which I’m an executive sponsor. One component of the program is bringing together a diverse pool of women to participate in workshops in which stories are shared, fueling a sense of purpose and empowerment. 

Our last workshop — like many — started with hesitation and cynicism. Our global chief talent officer Judy Jackson took it upon herself to challenge this ennui, triggering an outpouring of stories, advice, and support for each other. That spontaneous moment of women committed to helping rather than competing with each other was a moment of sweet victory.   
When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it? 

Losing a piece of business, because while we had the talent and capabilities, we struggled to collaborate effectively and did not deliver on our potential. 

I’m very proud of the unique talent and capabilities we bring and stitch together into collaborative and supportive teams on behalf of our clients. While the industry talks a lot about talent, a challenge remains even after identifying the right people: ensuring they hit the ground running together. When building a new, custom team for each piece of business there are always inherent risks, and very rarely is there a breakdown. When there is, it’s agony. 
How long ago was the last time you recharged your batteries? 

I traveled through Poland with my eldest son. 

My mother’s family is from Poland and we wanted to explore our roots. With its beautiful landscapes and historical buildings — and vibrant bar and restaurant scene — Kraków was amazing. We hiked in the Tatra National Park, which was invigorating and a wonderful bonding experience with my son. 

We can’t “have it all” in life, but we can have what’s important if we prioritize it. While working hard full-time, I’ve been able to be the mom and wife I want by making sure I take the time to spend with my husband and sons. 
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

With new technology, advanced analytics, and innovations, today, we can understand people deeply and develop communications to inspire healthy choices. The opportunity to empower and motivate individuals to make positive changes and better manage their own health and wellness is exciting. But in working for a digital healthcare agency, I see many companies have the ambition to expand digital activity but haven’t yet connected that goal to patient outcomes. Only now is the conversation in digital moving from measuring success by clicks or eyeballs to creating content and engagement to deliver a greater impact on people’s lives. 
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…

By individually connecting with women across the industry and by continuing to participate in Pass It On, I will continue listening to women and sharing my story to inspire them. Today, women have unprecedented opportunities and while still a challenge, it is up to us to seize them. No one will do it for us. 
I encourage all women to be thoughtful about their own careers and to realize their influence, both to carve out their own path and to be there for and support others. 
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

The standard advice to women starting out is typically to develop your skills: Be more assertive and confident, learn to negotiate, and enhance your communication abilities.  
Be a student of the healthcare industry. In an industry experiencing ongoing and profound change, I cannot stress enough the importance of strong business acumen to advance and rise into leadership positions. In professional services specifically, clients are looking for strategic partners who know their business, their customers, and are attuned to the ever-changing dynamics that impact their success. Be there for them.  
Favorite drink?

A cosmo. Fun, strong, and complex. Perfect for a night on the town or on a sunny beach. 
What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?

Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos. All three led major shifts in technology that tremendously influenced communications and the way we live our lives. I’d like to hear what their thoughts would be regarding the impact of their inventions on society — and what they would do differently now, if anything.