An interview with Nicole Formica-Schiller, CEO and founder, Pamanicor Health AG
What made you join the HBA and contribute to the Zurich chapter?
It is a great privilege to be acknowledged as vice president of HBA Zürich-Zug and to work with so many talented people. The HBA, as the world’s biggest nonprofit association for gender diversity in the healthcare industry, provides me the opportunity to share my prior and current board experiences as well as my views on gender diversity and inclusion. Based on these I can have a tangible impact and be a uniting force for change towards gender parity globally. Empowering women starts with the empowerment of every single person to act and think differently. And it is crucial to understand that gender parity will only be successful if over the long-term both women and men are involved in that change process.
What is your current role and position?
I am the CEO and founder of Pamanicor Health AG, a global advisory firm in the area of artificial intelligence, digital health, disruptive technologies (blockchain, big data) and bioethics at the intersection to life sciences, biotech and healthcare.
Which are your areas of the expertise in three words?
Empowering disruptive change.
Tell us about your super power:
As a CEO you are what I like to call the “chief everything officer”. Therefore, you need not just one but several super powers. One of my superpowers is connectivity. I am known as an advocate and a passionate networker. I have built a strong global network across both the public and private sectors that enables me to connect the right people with each other. Any government or private business enterprise needs diversity to be successful with everybody having a seat at the table.
What would you tell your younger self?
The same thing that I tell myself everyday: Be curious, try things and never give up. Build a life you love and are proud of and don't forget to help people along the way. Don't listen to the noise. Focus on the fundamentals.
In your opinion, who is the symbol of gender parity? And why?
For me there is not the one and only symbol of gender parity. Throughout my career working in more than 10 cities worldwide, I had the privilege to meet so many amazing role models for gender parity regardless if that was in Europe, the US, Asia or elsewhere. All amazing women and men trying to contribute their best to achieve gender parity. Having worked predominately in male-dominated industries, I have witnessed both the good side of diversity and the negative effects of gender disparity. It is important to remember that role models are not only the ones who made it to the top but are found on every career level and throughout the whole society. Gender parity is important for all of us and affects everyone every day. Each person and company have the responsibility to contribute to an environment of tolerance and diversity. I believe that we still need more prominent role models out there, so I hope to be one for other women and future leaders and help them achieve their goals.
What are some of the great milestones of gender parity?
Gender parity has come a long way with great achievements. I am happy to see that women and their success stories become more visible and you see more inspiring role models out there. The ongoing digitalization plays an important role as alongside media outlets it provides the platform to showcase these achievements. There are signs of progress. For example, large multi-national investment firms are now only investing in companies whose boards have sufficient diversity and women included. There is also a need to introduce new talent on boards to bring fresh and original perspectives. Diversity extends even within gender diversity.
What will be your role and what do you hope to achieve volunteering for the HBA?
As vice president and board member of HBA Zürich-Zug, I am in charge for overseeing board orientation and key strategic initiatives, external affairs, policy and advocacy as well as chapter financials. In addition, liaising and cultivating stakeholder relations with numerous multi-national companies and organizations in the area of healthcare, life sciences and biotech, as well as empowering HBA directors at large in their professional development. Most important however, is to help engrain gender diversity across member organizations and help female leaders to achieve their rightful position in organizations.