Session Featured Special Guest Speaker Laurie Cooke, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association CEO
Baltimore, MD, USA—May 21, 2018—ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research, held a session for its new Women in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) initiative this afternoon at ISPOR 2018 in Baltimore, MD, USA. ISPOR launched this initiative in 2017 with the vision to support the growth, development, and contribution of women in HEOR, to serve as a catalyst for women’s leadership in the field, and to offer a platform for ISPOR women to collaborate, network, share, and mentor each other.
Laurie Cooke, CEO of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), was the special guest speaker. Ms Cooke led a panel discussion focused on the advancement of women in the sciences. The panel included: Shelby D. Reed, PhD, RPh, ISPOR President (2017-2018), Duke University, Durham, NC; Rachael L. Fleurence, PhD, National Evaluation System for Health Technology Coordinating Center, Arlington, VA, USA; Zeba M. Khan, PhD, Celgene Corporation, Summit, NJ, USA; and Joe DePinto, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions.
Ms Cooke stressed that diversity is a proven tool to improve business performance—making the advancement of women in leadership not a “women’s issue,” but rather a “business issue.” She noted that working together will help move toward gender parity faster. The panel discussed a variety of issues, including the importance of including men as allies in the effort.
Dr Reed spoke about the vision of the new initiative and the importance of advancing women’s leadership in the HEOR field. She presented evidence that consistently demonstrates how organizations with diverse leadership teams perform significantly better than those that lack diversity. Data also show, however, that women account for less than a third (28.4%) of those employed in scientific research and earn less (83%) than men in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
During the panel discussion, Dr Reed noted that everyone deserves the opportunity to fully reach their career goals. Dr Khan recommended that women assess the gaps and work to close them by taking calculated risks. Dr Fleurence pointed out that some excellent resources and podcasts on gender parity are available and that women in HEOR should look for opportunities for informal dialog. Mr DePinto stated that every organization should assess its gender parity status start the journey with gender partnerships.
Commenting on the Women in HEOR initiative, Dr Reed noted, “We have received an incredible response from the membership and are so excited to see how the Women in HEOR initiative develops to support our female members in STEM. The evidence demonstrates that diverse teams perform much better than those without diversity do. And so this initiative is beneficial not just for ISPOR’s women members, but also for the science and for everyone in the field of HEOR.”
Additional information on ISPOR 2018 can be found here. Released presentations from the conference can be found here. Interested parties can follow news and developments from the conference on social media using the hashtag #ISPORBaltimore.