The MM&M “Hall of Femme” Award recently saluted accomplished and results-driven women in healthcare marketing—including Klick Health’s very own Lori Grant. Let’s celebrate the event and everything it means for our industry…
Medical Marketing & Media is a leading industry publication where the finest drivers and thinkers in healthcare marketing share observations, insights, opinions and information—and Klick Health is a leading full service healthcare agency recognized as a Best Workplace for Women. So it should come as no surprise that Klick’s own President Lori Grant has been inducted into the inaugural class of honorees for MM&M’s “Hall of Femme” Award.
“Everything in Lori’s bio is so impressive,” said Marc Iskowitz, Editor-in-Chief during an interview with us. “She stands out in a stand-out organization. Plus she’s got more than 25 years of strategic leadership experience and proven results at prior top agencies, making her an immediate and important choice to join the 15 other exemplary women, VP or higher, from the client and agency side, who’ve made a significant impact in a revenue or marketing perspective. We were looking for women who persevered through adversity, leaders in different areas, such as multicultural marketing, or behind the most iconic campaigns. In essence women who really stood out in terms of their many achievements, and Lori was particularly noteworthy.”
Celebrations and Challenges
These days women have much to celebrate. A great time to be female in the workplace, 57% are now in the labor force, represented across industries. With a burgeoning focus on women and leadership, best sellers sharing career advice line the shelves, including Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, Amy Cuddy’s Presence, and Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk’s Darling You Can’t Do Both. Check out the social media community Makers, which highlights groundbreaking stories of women today. And in terms of advocacy, the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association (HBA) is dedicated to furthering the advancement and impact of women throughout the industry.
Despite the successes, women still have a long way to go. According to the HBA, only 4% of c-suite positions in healthcare are occupied by women, yet the healthcare workforce is predominantly female, and women make most of the healthcare decisions for their families. With men occupying most of those higher paying jobs, a salary disparity should come as no surprise, either. “Our Hall of Femme Award was designed to celebrate women in the industry,” said Marc. “But we also had a purpose, namely to address the disparities in opportunity and salary that we’ve been reporting on for years. More needs to be done so that boards and management teams are more in touch with these realities. Since 2013 that chasm has actually widened, so there remains a pressing need for more progress to puncture the glass ceiling.”
As he wrote in his opinion piece “Why healthcare needs MadWomen,” Marc wants to see a healthier balance because although healthcare product development is rational and very data oriented, the end goal is to help people overcome their condition—and the best tools are good old fashioned human empathy and understanding. That’s what the Hall of Femme Award is all about: Empowering women to mentor each other and ensure they reach senior healthcare management roles, not only leveling the playing field but giving their organizations a distinct and measurable competitive edge. Keynote presentations shared personal experiences of turning adversity into advantages, while panel discussions explored relevant issues, including mentoring strategies, overcoming limitations, and measuring performance.
Keynotes and Panels
The event began with a keynote from Christine Coyne, Vice President of Specialty Pharmaceuticals, BTG Pharmaceuticals. She shared her personal story of how she responded to challenges and took whatever came her way, keeping her humor and humanity in tact, learning every step of the way to ultimately run a $200M business unit. Throughout her keynote Christina emphasized the importance of self-directed learning and staying in control of one’s own career. She shared the three things that really stood out for her and benefited her greatly as she climbed through the ranks: (1) always ask what’s next and keep on developing new skills, (2) be brave enough to leave if the career and the personal goals don’t align, and (3) let yourself shine by enabling the human spirit to come through. In the end, we’re all a group of humans with passion and a desire to improve lives!
Christine was followed by the “Prove It!” panel discussion with Christine Armstrong, Julie Vu, and Patricia Trautwein focusing on the importance of measuring business results to help substantiate accomplishments. “If Women Ruled Pharma: Shattering the Glass Ceiling” introduced the dueling perspectives of Shabam Kazmi and Sierra Towers, each applying their distinctive but highly successful strategies for personal success. The final discussion with Darlene Dobry, Maureen Regan, and Teresa Bitetti focused on “The Journey of Female Leadership: Mentoring Future Femmes” and showcased the special qualities that help bring diversity, creativity, and empathy to the next generation of healthcare executives.
Awards and Speeches
Following a networking break the Femme Award winners were announced, each offering a key insight or learning from their distinguished careers. When asked what the one piece of advice she would offer a woman staring her career in healthcare marketing, Lori Grant said after accepting her award: “Listen. Listen to everything everyone tells you. That’s because everyone has something to offer, something to teach you. Sometimes that’s good—sometimes that’s not so good. But along the way there’s always something to be taught, and something to be learned.”
We circled back with Lori after the ceremony, and she expressed her gratitude for the recognition and wants to use the Hall of Femme platform to highlight what she can do to continue shaping a positive culture in the industry, and at Klick. She also wants everyone to know that personal empowerment is for everyone, male and female, throughout the workforce, and there shouldn’t be any limits or boundaries for anyone. She cites Klick’s learning-enabled and initiative-based culture as factors that really benefitted her, encouraging her to go above and beyond. Lori believes that Klick is particularly conducive to giving people a chance, regardless of gender or background.
Putting ideas into practice with a strong focus on inclusion and balance, Klick conducts regular pay fairness reviews to ensure that women and men are paid equitably for their roles and contributions to the company’s success. The agency also offers maternity leave top-ups, flexible childcare options, complimentary on-site fitness and wellness programs, and access to work/life balance counseling services among its standard benefits. Perhaps most importantly, Lori attributes her and others success to Klick’s core belief that permission isn’t required from leadership to act. Instead, the agency empowers smart people who have great ideas to do whatever they need to do to get things done, trusting them every step of the way. “It’s very liberating to work here,” smiles Lori, her point proven with Best Place to Work awards and an exponential rate or organic growth.
Way to go Lori! Congratulations, and here’s to many more years of great leadership and success!