Our members and volunteers of HBA Frankfurt are true inspirations themselves. It is our pleasure to share with you some insights from our former HBA Frankfurt president and continuous strong member and supporter of HBA, Lena Dumont, head of transformation management, CFO area, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt. Lena will share her views and story on six questions touching on her “career story” where being part of the HBA community also played a role.
1. How did HBA influence your career?
When I reflect on how the HBA influenced my career so far, I can say only positively. In parallel to my HBA, let’s call it "career", I also progressed my professional career.
I joined HBA Frankfurt in a marketing role, when I started my first job in clinical operations at Merck, after completing my master’s degree. At that time I was working in a project office and communication role and was able to enhance my communication skills, which surely also helped to get my next job at Healthcare Communications.
During my volunteering time at the HBA, I met very inspiring and experienced leaders from whom I learned a lot and also got more self-confidence since I was able to train my skills in a safe and very encouraging environment outside my job. This is also where I got my first leadership role – leading the HBA Frankfurt team for more than two years with lots of passion. I learned how to build up a team from scratch and how to motivate team members towards one joined goal-achieving gender parity to make the healthcare industry more vibrant. Thanks to the HBA, I expanded my professional network inside my company but also outside. I just came back from five months of maternity leave, and am looking forward to what’s next in my job at the CFO office at Merck. Thanks to Marie-Caroline Chauvet, a mentor I found through the HBA – I know that it is possible to combine family and a demanding job.
How would you describe the path in your career - in one word?
Focused. Stay focused on what you want to achieve and let nothing or no one hold you back. This doesn’t mean that the path can’t be bumpy, but you will climb up the tallest mountain anyway.
Would you agree with the statement that success consists of 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration?
I totally think that hard work pays off. However, I would not agree with the statement, since I think that if you really love what you are doing and if you are inspired by your work environment, which means for example people you are working with, a product you are working for, you will be really good at it. And success will follow automatically.
What were you doing when you were happiest in your work life?
At my job at Healthcare Communications, I was able to organize an event with a friend of mine, who was living with multiple sclerosis, to educate our employees about the disease. I learned so much from him during that time and really had the feeling to make an impact that matters.
What do you read? Can you suggest some books?
Being honest, at the moment I mostly read books about children's development. Which is also quite impressive – since babies are learning so quickly during their first months after birth. But the latest books I read, were "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" from Sheryl Sandberg. It is providing great advise on how women can achieve their full potential in a working environment, which can be dominated by men. Truly inspiring and a must-read in my opinion. Another book, which I can truly recommend and lately read is "Do Epic Stuff" from René Esteban. The author is talking about the end of change management and what’s next. In my opinion, a must-read as well, since it provides great insights into a new leadership philosophy based on purpose.
Ten years ago the HBA was brought to the Frankfurt community. Which words would you like to share on to the HBA?
Take some time to celebrate, because the HBA community can be really proud of what it has achieved during the past ten years. Continue to connect people, who really want to make an impact in the healthcare industry and also help young talented people to shape their careers.
Take the opportunity and get to know one of our amazing HBA Frankfurt volunteers. Without a strong HBA volunteer community in our region, we would not be where we are today. Therefore, gain some personal insights from Sulamita Kalisch, founder and client partner, Humanas Solutions. Sulamita is part of our programming team and is responsible for our sponsor relationships and has been a volunteer for the HBA Frankfurt for 1.5 years, actively driving activities in our region.
Why did you decide to join HBA Frankfurt?
I believe in the greatness of women and I want to support them. We at HBA have great goals and a vision. I think networking isn’t just about promoting your business, it is about building relationships and develop yourself further. If you want to join the HBA, you will realize the growth benefits they offer you as a business owner or a professional. I believe we are all capable of gaining new skills, building dreams, and supporting each other.
How would you describe (in one word) the path in your career?
Would you agree with the statement that success consists of 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration?
Of course we should be a person of action, set our goals and not being afraid of failure. But in my opinion above all it is about seeing a purpose in what you do, it’s about healthy relationships and we should know how to balance our lives.
Which of your skills are you most proud of?
I’m good with people. I’ve got the ability to interact with people from all backgrounds. I love people and therefore it’s easy for me to establish good connections and I’m very good at listening.
How do you make decisions?
I like to think that I’m a logical and analytical person. When I’m making a decision, I carefully weigh all of the alternatives. Therefore, I like to have a lot of information. However, I know that most of our mental processing is unconscious and most of our decision-making is unconscious too. That doesn’t mean it’s faulty, irrational, or bad. This is the part of “trusting your gut”, and most of the time it works.