Friday, February 10, 2012

Partnerships Spotlight: Women's Clinical Leadership Forum

Moira Forbes,
President of ForbesWoman
For this week's Partnerships in Clinical Trials Session Spotlight, we feature the Inaugural Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum, a unique professional development program for women specializing in clinical trial outsourcing and operations for the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries and their CRO partners.  It will be taking place Sunday, March 4.

In addition to a prestigious list of top women executives from biopharma companies and CROs, the Forum will feature Moira Forbes, President of ForbesWoman—a recognized authority on women’s business and leadership issues—and FDA Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health Marsha Henderson, whose office is co-sponsoring the forum.

According to keynote speaker Debbie Hart, President of the New Jersey biotechnology trade association BioNJ, the Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum satisfies an important, unmet need among women in the clinical development sector to interact, exchange ideas and address mutual challenges with their peers.

“Women are underrepresented in the biotech industry—particularly at the senior level—and the clinical trials sector is no exception,” said Hart. “The industry is rapidly changing, and we have a responsibility to help our companies, clients and partners navigate those changes. We must be prepared to lead, and that’s really what this forum is all about.”

Through a combination of educational sessions, exclusive networking opportunities and structured mentoring, the Forum aims to equip women throughout the clinical development and trial industry with the tools, information and connections necessary to influence key decisions and to play a more prominent role in directing the industry’s future.

Fellow keynote speaker Forbes added that “women are gaining influence and power in truly unprecedented ways—and in unprecedented numbers. By discussing key issues for women interested in the progress of clinical trials, and sharing in that exchange, this Forum can generate powerful dialogue on those topics most pressing for the larger community represented by this year’s attendees.”

Stiris Research President and CEO Shantal Feltham, who will be participating on a special panel, emphasized that while networking is an important component, the Forum’s endgame is to raise attendees’ performance bar and provide the means to exceed it.

“Lift while you climb,” said Feltham. “The Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum is an opportunity to learn and to teach, to synthesize our collective experience and intellectual capital, and to produce concrete, practical takeaways that will enable all of us—regardless of what stage you’re at in your career path—to do business better.”

Millennium Pharmaceuticals Senior Director of Clinical Outsourcing Frances Grote, who will also participate on the Forum panel and whose company’s CEO is a woman, echoed Feltham’s sentiment, noting the Forum is not about gender; it’s about solutions.

“Hurdles are just opportunities seen from the wrong perspective,” said Grote.

The Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum kicks off Sunday evening March 4 with introductory remarks from Deirdre BeVard, Vice President of Development Operations for Endo Pharmaceuticals, and includes a private networking dinner with the industry’s foremost women executives.

If you'd like to join the Women's Clinical Leadership Forum, and the rest of the Partnerships in Clinical Trials Event, as a reader of this blog, when you register and mention code XP1700BLOG, you'll receive 15% off the standard rate!  For more information on this year's event, download the brochure here.  Four-day passes are available to qualified attendees and space is limited.

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