HBA Europe and the W20 event recap: Ensuring the healthcare industry is future fit through entrepreneurial spirit and diversity

On 5 April in Düsseldorf, HBA Europe and sponsor EY hosted a roundtable of our chapter advisory board members to discuss: “Women Entrepreneurs in Life Sciences – Still a Long Way to Go”.

Female entrepreneurship is one of the key topics of the W20. The aim of the roundtable was to ideate ways in which HBA Europe can support female entrepreneurship; and to provide input to the W20, backing the call for full economic empowerment of women, with the aim of being heard and taken up by the G20 heads of state and government at their summit in July in Hamburg (Germany).

The roundtable discussions addressed three questions, and the outputs are summarized below.

What are the barriers and enablers for female entrepreneurship in Europe?

  • Know-how gap regarding sources and process of attaining funds
  • Prejudice from potential investors that male-led projects will be more successful than female ones
  • Female businesswomen should start early to build a network of potential investors, customers, employees, coaches, and people they can rely on

What HBA Europe will do:

  • Fill the need for accessible role models by starting an affinity group for female entrepreneurs

What can companies do to retain female talent?

  • Define the meaning of flexible working and career development
  • Build retention initiatives into succession planning
  • Consider mandates if needed: pay equality or implement short term equality quotes to speed up change

What HBA Europe will do:

  • Gather more data by including flexible working and career development questions in this year’s gender research

How do companies and entrepreneurs benefit from one another? What HBA Europe will do:

  • Implement the ‘HBA code’ to provide entrepreneurial members with support and connections

Following the roundtable, Kathrin Schoenborn, HBA Europe president-elect, attended the W20 Summit in Berlin on 25-26 April, supporting that the outcomes of the roundtable together with the HBA cause and values were channeled into the communiqué that was passed on to this year’s G20 president Angela Merkel. One highlight of the summit was realizing that HBA Europe’s vision and mission are compelling and very active in driving women’s empowerment in the private sector. The W20 highlighted many methods to empower women already employed by the HBA: networking, mentoring, access to role models, growth opportunities, platforms to learn and exchange ideas, committed corporate members.

So, let’s continue this journey together.

As a result of the roundtable outputs, a new chapter board position is now open: director at large, entrepreneur affinity group. Contact the HBA Europe volunteering team/Diana Lagalante if you are interested.


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