Magazine Article | May 12, 2011

Courting, Networking, And Diversity

Source: Life Science Leader
Rob Wright author page

By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Follow Me On Twitter @RfwrightLSL

The royal wedding is now behind us, but that hasn’t stopped us from doing our own form of courting here at Life Science Leader magazine. We recently added two new contributing editors, Wayne Koberstein and Sara Gambrill. Many of you might recognize Wayne, former editor in chief for Pharmaceutical Executive and BioExecutive International magazines. Sara was a former senior editor at CenterWatch and writer for several Harvard Health Publications. Combined, they bring 38 years of life sciences industry experience, making my job a lot easier. I am thrilled to have these two new members join our top-notch team.

We also have continued to court members for our editorial advisory board. We recently added several new members, see page 8. When we originally began the process of creating this board, we had three objectives. The first: Seek individuals with broad and deep industry expertise. The second: Make it interactive with such features as “Ask the Board.” (I think it is great that a reader can pose a question and get an answer from someone like Carol Nacy, CEO of Sequella.) The third: Make it diverse and thus a reflection of our readership.

Speaking of diversity, I recently wrote a blog entitled “The Pink Male Elephant in the Room,” which you can read on our website by clicking on the “editor’s blog” link on the homepage. In it, I wrote about the lack of diversity in top leadership positions in Big Pharma. As a magazine which features a picture of an industry executive on the cover every month, I realized we had an opportunity to improve in this area. The editorial board has been instrumental in helping us in this regard. Thanks to their efforts, we have not one, but two women executive feature stories this month — Carrie Cox (page 14), former executive at Schering-Plough and current CEO of Humacyte, and Maxine Gowen (page 22), former executive at GSK and current CEO at Trevena. Cox frequently has been listed on Fortune magazine’s list of 50 most powerful women, and Gowen was listed as one of the top 10 women in biotech for 2010. But wait, there’s more; Leslie Kossoff, author and confidential executive advisor, took time to pen this month’s “Leadership Lessons” article.

But, don’t expect our diversity to be just “one and done.” This past May, I attended the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) woman of the year luncheon in NYC. Here I had the opportunity to network with a wide variety of industry executives. Perhaps some of these folks will soon be adorning our magazine’s cover.

I will continue piling up frequent flyer miles this month, attending DIA in Chicago and Bio International in DC. I hope to network with as many executives and readers as possible, so I can keep my finger on the industry’s pulse. If you see me at one of these shows, please take the time to introduce yourself.