Last month, I had the privilege of starting a long-term partnership with Johnson & Johnson, a company whose dedication and impact on global health and equality, I’ve admired for years. As a part of their inaugural #LiveHealthyLiveWell Council, I joined other explorers, humanitarians, and philanthropists in learning about their mission— to prevent, eradicate, and cure more health conditions through science, innovation, and technology. During my time in New York City, I began thinking of ways I could share my insight with my community of passionate, empowered females who want to make the world a better place.
Most of you are creatives and travelers, fueled by your love for solo adventure, self-discovery, and social impact, striving for positive change whether at home, at work, or in your communities. (#SOLO!) Data shows that driving conversation about topics like global health and wellness is the first step in making a difference on a greater scale. Additionally, I believe that as women, truly understanding our invaluable influence is vital in doing so.
Some of Johnson & Johnson’s biggest initiatives in combating the world’s greatest diseases, wouldn’t have been possible without female leaders at its core. Since hiring their first female scientist, a chemist by the name of Edith von K., Johnson and Johnson has remained at the forefront of healthcare by elevating women to management positions—44% to be exact.
By supporting feminine perspective, Johnson & Johnson has committed to not only transforming the healthcare system, but transforming the world in which we live by making it a safer, more inclusive place for other women.
Johnson & Johnson’s Jennifer Taubert, who was named Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women for the third year, says this female-centered approach works because women are healthcare leaders and generate deeper insight to drive better results.
There’s Hanneke Schuitemaker, VP of Viral Vaccine Discovery and Translational Medicine at Jannsen Pharma where they may be closer than ever to a vaccine that could help prevent the transmission of HIV and outbreak of Ebola. “I’ve always tried to motivate women not to be scared [of this field]. It is hard work, but it’s always very rewarding.”
And Ethicon’s Beth McCombs, who is helping lead a team of engineers and scientists at J&J’s medical device sector to solve problems in surgery and develop new less-invasive procedures to “kill cancer thermally”. Her team brings cutting edge technology to the operating room including minimally-invasive staplers, advanced sutures, and devices that control bleeding.
Taubert, Schuitemaker, and McCombs inspire me to forge my own path. Their business acumen, patience, and shared responsibility for humanity makes their life’s work deeply personal for them, which in my opinion, makes all the difference.
As I embark on the preliminary stages for my own non-profit, Surgeons & Storytellers (with mentorship from Johnson & Johnson), I will continue to look to women like them, whose fearless pursuit of healthcare equality, have emboldened me to do the same. Stay tuned for exciting news coming soon!
Read more about how women are changing global health. #LiveHealthyLiveWell