Career Conversations | HBA

Career Conversations

HBA’s 2021 Career Conversations
Activate, Advocate and Achieve

The HBA’s 2021 Career Conversations will convene industry leaders and experts to discuss the importance and impact of activating your vision and voice, advocating for equity in the workplace and achieving professional and industry goals.

Each session will provide timely, relevant content from a subject matter expert, real-world experiences and perspectives from industry leaders and an engaging virtual Q&A with participants. Stay tuned for more details and registration links.

Special series purchase
Sign up for the 2021 Career Conversations webinar series and receive all four webinars for the price of three. Note: Corporate partner promotion codes are not applicable for the series, and can only be used on each individual webinar.

25 March – 12:00-1:15 PM ET 
Career Conversation 30 - Good Guys: How Men Can be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace                      

To forge a gender equitable world will require support from everyone in the workplace. Gender-in-the-workplace experts David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson say, “While organizations are looking to address the issues women face, too many gender-inclusion initiatives focus on how women themselves should respond, reinforcing the perception that these are ‘women’s issues’ and that men – often the most influential stakeholders in an organization – don’t need to be involved.”


  • David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson are the authors of the just-released book Good Guys: How Men Can be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace.
  • Robin Toft, CEO and Founder, Toft Group, and author of We Can, The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement
  • Pam Gleason, VP, Community, We Can Rise, Inc.

24 June – 12:00-1:15 PM ET
Career Conversation 31 - Activate Your Voice

You have a vision of where you want to be and how you want your career to progress. We’ll focus on how you can activate your authentic voice to propel yourself and your career. We’ll hear from Sepideh Varon, vice president, Health Economics & Outcomes Research at AbbVie, she says, “Communication is the heart and soul of how we get our work done.  As a researcher, many times our research is very complicated, but part of leadership and strong research is to be able to communicate the information simply to non-researchers.” She’ll discuss how understanding others' preferences and perspectives will enhance the work companies and the output they deliver.  As she says, “Everyone has different preferences in terms of “ways of working” or “communication” – therefore seek to inquire rather than assume.”


  • Bridgette Arthur-Mensah, VP Engineering Operations, Medidata Solutions, New York City Metropolitan Area 
  • Primal Kaur, Md. MBA, VP, Global Development and Therapeutic Area Head of Inflammation Portfolio, Amgen
  • Sepideh Varon, VP, Health Economics & Outcomes Research, AbbVie 
  • Moderator: Emily Basca, President, PEMC INC, HBA webinar consultant

9 September – 12:00-1:15 PM ET
Career Conversation 32 - Advocates in Action

The HBA knows that through mentoring women grow in their careers and that mentors play an important role in professional development and the advancement of performance excellence. For our success at higher levels, women also need sponsors -- people who routinely advocate for them and are united with a purpose to open doors. With sponsors advocating for women, more women will get to be “in the room where it happens’ and realize greater support to achieve with comfortable confidence. In this webinar, we will focus on how to execute effectively as a sponsor, breakthrough to achieve a variable workforce and design a culture of advocacy where courage and a commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity thrive.


  • David Komlos, Principal, Surge
  • Alistair Lindsay, MD, MBA, PhD, Early Development Lead, GSK
  • La Toya McClellan, MA, PHR, Associate Director, Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, ASTELLAS US LLC
  • Moderator: Susan Childs, Founder and Principal Managing Partner, LCA Enterprises and Consulting

2 December – 12:00-1:15 PM ET
Career Conversation 33 - Achieve Success

The HBA will look at just how far we’ve come and celebrate the accomplishments of women. We’ll hear from high-achievers what the key ingredients were that led to their success and how you can apply the recipe for yourself. Carly Baron, vice president and general manager at Amgen, remembers the day she saw a junior employee with a more ambitious career goal than hers, and how changing her goal reframed how her company thought of her. She says, “Don’t sell yourself short. The higher up you aim, the more pathways to success you create.”

Aiming higher is a theme you’ll hear from Tia Bush, senior vice president of Quality at Amgen, “I see women who don’t ‘open their aperture enough’ and don’t present themselves as ready for next-level roles.” 

Many women in HBA started their careers in research and we’re excited to have Jackie Kunzler, corporate quality officer, Baxter and Board Director at NAMSA and Baxter International Foundation to tell us how she went from the bench to a highly successful career in International Marketing. 

Stacey Yount, formerly from Medidata Solutions, and now SVP, Head of Strategy Development and Planning, LabCorp Drug Development, will share personal experiences of the unexpected turns careers can take and how the nonlinear path to success has been a rewarding one. Stacey says, “Even distressing career changes such as downsizing can be used to find new opportunities.” She’ll let you know her tips for preparing for the unexpected now and actions you can take in the midst of an unplanned career change. 


  • Jackie Kunzler, Corporate Quality Officer, Baxter and Board Director at NAMSA and Baxter International Foundation 
  • Tia Bush, Chief Quality Officer, Centessa Pharmaceuticals 
  • Carly Baron, VP and General Manager, Amgen
  • Stacey Yount, SVP, Head of Strategy Development and Planning, LabCorp Drug Development
  • Moderator: Jacquelyn Benton Moore, Healthcare Executive Director, Roche Genentech, HBA board of directors 


Register to receive all four 2021 Career Conversations webinars here. 
NOTE: Corporate partner promotion codes are not applicable for the series, and can only be used on each individual webinar.


To suggest future program topics, or to recommend yourself or a colleague as a speaker or panelist on one of the above topics, email Telesia Davis.