2015 Carol Wells

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announced that it has named Carol Wells, senior director of commercial training and development at Genentech, to receive the prestigious 2015 STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition). Carol will be formally recognized on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the 26th annual Woman of the Year (WOTY) event, the premier event of the year attended by over 2,500 industry leaders to celebrate the achievements of remarkable leaders in healthcare.

Every year, the HBA honors a STAR who stands apart as a truly exemplary role model who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the HBA’s strategic goals of advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide.

Carol was an early member of the HBA San Francisco Bay Area chapter and has played a significant role in driving and supporting the chapter’s growth. She served as president of the chapter in 2011 and 2013 and currently is director of programs. “It has been wonderful to see the chapter really come into our own. We have a deep bench of volunteers, a robust board of directors, and many new exciting members joining.” The HBA SF bay area chapter currently offers 50-60 programs per year on diverse topics including industry trends, skill building and networking events for women at different stages of their careers.

Carol’s contributions to the HBA extend beyond the San Francisco chapter. She was instrumental in launching WOTY West, a celebration of the HBA Woman of the Year held in San Francisco and connected via video link to the event in New York City. In 2011, Carol was honored with the Council of the President’s Award through the HBA.

When describing the impact of the HBA, Carol emphasizes the opportunities the HBA provides “to grow and develop through networking and mentorship with amazing women in the healthcare field.” Carol’s extensive HBA network has proved helpful in hiring talented women at Genentech and has also been a support system for her both professionally and personally. “You get to know people at different phases in their career and have the opportunity to support people going through transitions professionally and personally.”

The HBA has provided Carol and her current programs committee team opportunities to develop meaningful programming. Thanks to Carol’s leadership, Genentech has hosted 12-15 HBA SF chapter meetings and events per year as well as two global board meetings. As evidence of her leadership impact, Carol was awarded the 2014 Genentech Women’s Professionals Group (GWP) Developer of the Year award and is a member of the executive committee of the Life Sciences Trainers and Educators Network (formerly the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers) and served as president in 2012 and 2013. In addition, she was named one of the PharmaVOICE’s Top 100 Most Inspiring Individuals in 2009.

“The HBA has also provided me with the opportunity to pay it forward by helping the growth and development of other women. I have been lucky to have people help me in my career and now I feel it is important to help those that are coming,” says Carol. She served as a mentor for the HBA Indiana chapter in 2012 and has formally mentored over a dozen associates and many more informally. Carol has brought best practices from the HBA to Genentech and vice versa, providing Genentech employees in South San Francisco, as well as field personnel across the country, opportunities to engage with the HBA and continue to develop and network. Carol’s ongoing commitment to mentoring aligns with the HBA’s goal of supporting the development and success of women by providing opportunities to lead from every seat.

When asked about the future of the HBA SF bay area chapter, Carol says, “I want to see even more people benefit from the HBA as I have. I want to see us do more to support women in scientific and technical roles and expand our reach to include field representation at HBA events across the US.” She also wants the HBA to expand its business reach and “be more influential with companies.” Carol first heard about the HBA from Genentech and credits Ian Clark for championing the HBA at Genentech by engaging in discussions with the HBA executive committee about the issues women are dealing with. Her vision is for “the HBA to be a catalyst for companies embracing diversity.”

Above all, Carol loves being part of an organization that is true to its roots. “It is so refreshing to see women supporting other women in this way. Women are stronger together and the HBA supports that in a genuine way.”

Read the text of Carol's speech at the 2015 WOTY event on the HBA blog.

Download a profile of Carol from LTEN Focus magazine Winter issue