As head of media relations at Henry Schein, Inc., it's my responsibility to secure interviews with our executives as well as to staff the interviews once scheduled. Recently, I joined an interview with two of Henry Schein’s female leaders – Karen Prange, Executive Vice President and CEO Global Animal Health, Medical and Dental Surgical Group, and Bridget Ross, President, Global Medical Group – for “Women in Business,” a special section that is distributed by USA Today.
In the article, Karen and Bridget shared their views on what it takes to be a female leader in the health care industry. They discussed the career challenges they have faced, and offered advice to women in the workforce.
“Push yourself and have fun along the way,” said Karen. Added Bridget: “We tend to be very motivated by challenge. A lot of women I’ve met who’ve been successful have dared to declare their career ambitions and had advocates championing them.”
Around the same time as Karen and Bridget’s interviews, Fortune published their annual list of Fortune 500 companies. The Broadstreet, Fortune’s “dish on the world’s most powerful women,” analyzed the list noting, “...the number of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 has increased by more than 50%—from 21 to 32. That’s a new record: The 2017 ranking includes more female chiefs than any previous list since the first Fortune 500 ran in 1955.”
Progress yes; but I think we can all agree more can be done. Reading this article and having just heard the candid accounts from Karen and Bridget about their personal journeys, I began to wonder what advice other female leaders would have for emerging and established professional women. What do they have to say about taking risk, mentoring, overcoming barriers, finding balance and more? And, it sparked an idea, which I have secretly named “The Diana Prince Society.”
Fans of Wonder Women will understand the reference. While a fictional character, Diana Prince may be unassuming but beneath her quiet demur is a woman of strength, ingenuity, intelligence, and most of all a fierce passion to change the world and make a difference. These are all characteristics necessary for modern day change agents, whether an entrepreneur, individual contributor, or a titan of industry.
You’ll learn more about these women, and what they have to say, in the coming year. In the meantime, to explore the digital version of the “Women in Business” campaign and to hear from other trailblazing women, click here.
~ Ann Marie Gothard, Vice President, Corporate Media Relations