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These women lead by example

12 female executives reflect on life in the KC Animal Health Corridor.

These women lead by example
The panel for the “Women Leaders in the Corridor” discussion, held at the offices of JNA Advertising.

A dozen women who hold leadership roles in the KC Animal Health Corridor, home to more than 300 animal health companies, gathered Aug. 27 to talk about their careers and corporate life.

The panel discussion was held in Overland Park, Kansas, as part of Global Animal Health Week.

Tiffany Fairchild, pet channel business manager at Ceva Animal Health, said companies with women in the executive ranks are better companies.

“There are study after study that show when you have more women in leadership positions, the business outcomes are significantly improved,” she said. “There are so many soft skills that women bring to the table that help to improve outcomes for everyone.”

Jessica Monachello, JD, assistant general counsel at Bayer Animal Health, said women working in the industry should “forget the female/male.”

“Show people what you can do,” she said. “Show them the understanding that you’ve gone the extra 300 miles to understand not only the industry, but you understand their problems.

“Once you have proven to someone else that you understand their problems, they are going to forget about who you really are,” Monachello said.

Angie Miller, zone director with Merck Animal Health, said changing the corporate workaholic culture won’t happen overnight.

“I got five emails before I woke up this morning,” she said. “When you get that on a Sunday morning, what is that message? As a manager or director … what is that message to your team? — ‘I am working on the weekend, so you should answer me right away.’

“It takes time to change that culture, and I think we are doing it and I think women are speaking up more about it,” Miller said.

Renee Hall, U.S. head of commercial excellence at Boehringer Ingelheim, said she strives to “increase my relevance.”

“So it doesn’t matter whether I wear a bra,” she said. “It is about being relevant in that boardroom and having a seat at the table because I earned it.”

She urged women who coach younger female colleagues to stress the need to improve business acumen “because that makes them relevant.”

Other panel members were:

  • Susan Robel, consumer innovation manager at Bayer Animal Health.
  • Cindy Bosman, senior manager of supply chain at Ceva Biomune.
  • Jody Donohue, communications manager at Ceva Animal Health.
  • Ellen Lowery, DVM, MBA, Ph.D., director of U.S. professional and veterinary affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
  • Caroline Belmont, global head of regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance at Boehringer Ingelheim.
  • Marty Vanier, DVM, director of partnership development at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Karen Padgett, DVM, president of Unfenced, a division of JNA Advertising.
  • Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor.