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E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study Delivers First-Ever Data on Executive Women in Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries

FAIRFIELD, New Jersey, November 8 /PRNewswire/ --

- Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and Booz Allen Hamilton Announce Results of Groundbreaking Study and Best Practices for Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Women.

Results from the highly anticipated Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) E.D.G.E. (Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, Excellence) in Leadership study have exceeded the expectations of pharmaceutical senior management, who have been awaiting the first research to provide actionable recommendations on best practices for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women to the most senior roles within their corporate suites.

"In the competitive pharmaceutical industry, companies recognize the need to diversify their senior leadership teams in order to be successful, and cultivating women in top management spots is a critical component to that success," said Joe Mahady, President Global Business, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. "We are grateful to the HBA and Booz Allen Hamilton for helping us fill the knowledge gaps that have created obstacles to women's successes in the past."

Conducted by the HBA in conjunction with study partner Booz Allen Hamilton, the E.D.G.E. study established first-ever benchmarks to track women's career progress in the healthcare industry. It captured current attitudes and motivations of corporate culture, including the individual attitudes of both men and women, and identified the characteristics and components of effective practices and programs. The E.D.G.E. in Leadership study has resulted in a six-themed road map, which leading industry executives will find of great value for evaluating their own company performance and implementing initiatives and programs to develop top talent at their own companies.

Research has indicated that women now comprise the majority (58%) of college graduates, and the projected rate of increase in graduate level degrees to be awarded during the next decade is significantly higher for women (16%) than for men (1.3%).1 In contrast, the E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study showed that top management positions in life sciences companies currently held by women range widely from 0% - 58%, company to company-maintaining a steady 17% average for the past five years.

This E.D.G.E. study, which started in January 2007 and concluded in June, included 19 of the top 50 life sciences companies in the United States and Europe. Participating corporations provided human resource data and access to senior executives and middle managers for interviews and survey responses. The HBA and Booz Allen Hamilton study distilled six elements required to create an environment in which more women can reach their full potential in leadership roles:

- Unambiguous senior leadership support for the advancement of women

- Merit-based culture to ensure advancement regardless of gender

- Program metrics to track progress and evaluate success

- Leadership development programs customized to individual needs

- Career and work flexibility models to retain top talent

- Recruiting efforts that include a diverse team and diversity targets

The study partners shared findings with the key sponsors, and the reception has been very positive. "The recommendations in the E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study certainly strike a chord," says Tim Rothwell, Chairman, sanofi-aventis US. "The study reminds us that we have an opportunity to partner our resources and programs even more effectively with the strong female leadership that exists within our company. That combination of strong female leadership, appropriate resources, and sound programs will help us meet the evolving needs of our workforce, our customers, and our patients. We already have exceptional female leaders from various backgrounds who set an example for women inside and outside of the company. But the further work we do on this front will form the foundation for even broader innovations to come."

The quantitative results of the E.D.G.E. in Leadership study fill a significant knowledge gap in industry practices. "The HBA has always been committed to advancing women's careers, and the opportunity to work with Booz Allen Hamilton to document industry practices, as well as make recommendations for change, was a remarkable chance for our organization to further our own mission and form credible and lasting partnerships," says Cathy Kerzner, HBA President. "We look forward to the feedback we receive on the publication of these results, and we recognize the value of tracking progress over time. We are planning follow-up studies to further examine the impact of the study recommendations."

The effects of the study findings are anticipated to be wide-ranging and global. Florence Manger, President Elect of the HBA Europe Affiliate says: "I am very pleased at the publication of the E.D.G.E. in Leadership study, which provides first-of-its-kind insights into the advancement of women in the EU and the US. Armed with the results, we can better understand the dynamics on both continents and identify similarities and differences. I'm confident that women from across Europe will read this long-awaited study with great interest, and will do all they can to encourage their company's senior leadership to implement its recommendations."


Eighty-two senior executives from 19 of the top 50 life sciences companies in the US and Europe participated in in-depth interviews, and 237 mid-level managers responded to a comprehensive survey. Twelve companies provided comprehensive staffing and program data from HR databases.


The HBA E.D.G.E in Leadership study was funded by ten sponsors and nine contributors. Sponsors included Booz Allen Hamilton, Novartis, sanofi-aventis, Wyeth, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Celgene Corporation, Ernst & Young LLP, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co, Inc. Contributors included Shire Pharmaceuticals, Millennium, Eisai Inc., Sarga Associates, LLC, Christian Timbers, and Hodge/Niederer/Cariani. In addition, Park Street Research, Dorland Global Corporation, and FlashPoint Medica were in-kind contributors.

Sponsoring companies are able to see how their own practices measure up against industry standards, which will be very useful benchmarks as they set their corporate objectives. The full study results are published in a white paper that can be purchased for use by all companies who are committed to advancing women in senior leadership.

To access the video news release, a study abstract and information on purchasing the white paper, go to or call (US) 973-575-0606.


1. SA Hewlett, C Buck Luce. Off-Ramps and On-Ramps. Harvard Business Review

(March 2005).

Healthcare Businesswomen's Association

The Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA; celebrates its 30th year (1977-2007) as a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide. With 12 chapters and affiliates throughout the United States and Europe, the HBA is headquartered in New Jersey with offices in Philadelphia and Research Triangle Park. The HBA provides educational opportunities for women and men to develop cutting edge healthcare industry knowledge and leadership skills; recognizes outstanding women and men in the industry; provides opportunities for networking; creates greater visibility for women in the industry; fosters mentoring relationships; and serves as a conduit and sponsor for research on career advancement issues. The HBA has nearly 4,000 individual members and over 115 corporate partners. It is widely recognized as the catalyst for the professional development and leadership of women in healthcare worldwide.

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton (, a global strategy and technology consulting firm with over 90 offices on 6 continents, works with clients to deliver results that endure. They provide services to the world's leading corporations, government and other public agencies, emerging growth companies, and institutions. Booz Allen's major areas of expertise include strategy and leadership, organization and change management, operations innovations, sales and marketing, and information technology.

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