Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?
My former manager at United Healthcare, Herman Wright. I was in my late 20s when I started working for Herman and he and I could not have been more different. Still, Herman took me under his wing and helped me develop both professionally and personally. He helped me learn how to be solution-oriented and empowered me to bring my full self to work, but most importantly, he helped me find my voice as a leader. He had so much vision and led with tremendous empathy — I still strive to model much of my leadership style after him to this day.
How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?
As a working mom and caregiver, I initially struggled with work-life balance at the beginning of the pandemic. Like many, the lines between work and home became very blurred and it was a challenge adapting all of us to this new routine. However, one positive to this has been that, as those lines became blurred, we also caught a glimpse into each other’s lives outside of work and I think that has helped humanize and bring us closer together in many ways.
Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?
When I had my second child, I decided to stay home and push pause on my career — that was very far out of my comfort zone. I had my first “real” job at 15 years old. It was the first time I was not working in the traditional sense and it was a hard adjustment. I learned so much about myself, what drives me and that I needed both a career and my personal life to be in better balance. I think this is a moment many women can relate to and is one of the reasons I feel so passionately about helping other women navigate periods of change in their lives and careers.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
I always want to do more for patients but working in such a highly regulated environment can be a challenge when pushing for true innovation. Patient needs are constantly evolving, and as an industry, we need to find ways to also evolve our ability to change as fast as the needs of patients or their caregivers.
What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?
Hiring and mentoring talented, qualified women. When I first started my career, I was fortunate to have leaders who saw my potential and took a chance on me. Now that I’m in a position to hire, it’s always been important to me that I use my past experiences (the mistakes and the successes) to help lift others up and support them on their own career journeys. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “for our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.” I couldn’t agree more.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
Be bold. Early in your career, it can be intimidating to speak up or to challenge the status quo but we need all perspectives, and you don’t need 10+ years of experience to create value. Imposter syndrome and the fear of getting it wrong can hold us back, but when you see an opportunity, seize it. This is an amazing industry and if you lean in, you can make a real difference.
Recount an experience with the healthcare system, positive or negative, that inspires you.
A few years ago, my son was diagnosed with a rare disease. He was prescribed a medication, but we quickly learned that he could not access this medication because there is no pediatric indication for his illness. At the same time, I was launching a rare disease medicine at Horizon and building out a robust patient support organization designed to help patients experiencing their own access challenges. While my personal experience with my son was frustrating, it is inspiring to know how much support our company puts behind patients and the impact that can make on other people’s families.
Favorite TV show/movie/song/book?
Favorite TV show: Schitt’s Creek. Favorite book: The Shack. Favorite movie: Star Wars (all of them). And my favorite song is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (I love the hype)!