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What ‘Be Bold: Think Differently’ looks like

Be bold

It is encouraging and inspiring to see a growing number of women in healthcare in Europe living and acting out the “Be Bold: Think Differently” approach. And, fittingly it is the theme of this year’s HBA European Leadership Summit next week. This positive trend by women in healthcare boldly showing their authentic selves and thinking with purpose is one that has me particularly excited about the future. Let me share three of my observations:


  • In the last decade, there has been a lot of empowerment and self-direction. We saw the multiplication of strong women’s networks within companies to advance careers and broaden skills. In parallel, external organisations such as the HBA, and European Women on Boards (EWOB) offered external mentorship, support, and trainings to prepare women for the next stages of their professional lives. This momentum is growing primarily in response to the sobering reality of the gender pay gap and the lack of diversity at the decision making level.
  • Increasingly, women are taking it into their own hands to accelerate change for the better. The number of women-founded startups in Femtech and other categories is growing. The impact that they are generating is impressive. By choosing to do it differently from before - leading the change instead of asking for it, leaving corporate structures to follow their passions, starting their own business - they are set to overturn women’s health inequalities and profoundly revise how healthcare is studied and applied. All this with the full knowledge of the structural barriers ahead of them such as funding biases. There’s nothing I love more than to celebrate and support these bold and powerful leaders.
  • The next decade will see a greater evolution of this. With more women creating valuable assets and companies, there will be much more interest to fund, investigate, promote, and grow these entities and what they stand for. Together with the maturation of many of the current start-ups, we hope to experience a reduction in pay gap, and an increase in diversity at the highest level. We can only imagine the impact of this on creating better health outcomes, not only for women, but for all.


So let’s support and encourage women leaders who aspire to challenge conventions, reinvent themselves and reimagine the future of our beloved industry. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is a perfect starting point. Join us in Brussels 16-18 June for the HBA’s 2022 European Leadership Summit.



Authored by Kathrin Schoenborn-Sobolewski, HBA Global Board of Directors.

With over three decades of global leadership experience in strategic and business operations roles in pharma companies focused around data, innovation, and pipeline progress, Kathrin is recognized as a strategy builder and implementer, dynamic and inspiring leader, and change architect, thriving in a surrounding where change is the norm.

She is enthusiastic about equality in business. For more than 10 years she has been active with the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, first as co-founder and leader of HBA Frankfurt, and following various board roles at the European level, serving as the Chair of HBA Europe between 2018-2021. 

Since the beginning of 2022 Kathrin is active with a portfolio of different roles, including mentor and coach, advising startups, being a business angel and a member of the Global HBA Board of Directors.