February 2019 Issue
Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health

Getting to know WILMAH

This year we are focused on helping you get to know us better. We've held events at VMX, NCBA and WVC over the last two months to give you a chance to meet us and learn more. This is our second e-newsletter of 2019 (did you miss our January issue?). In this issue we feature another board member, highlight our recent activities and update you on what's to come. In 2019, we want to continue to bring you content and events that will help us execute our mission to build a community of women who aspire to inspire and develop current and future generations of female leaders in animal health.

Meet Your Board

   My name is Jessica Bayer and I am currently the Director of Training and Development, US Customer Experience for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Inc. I joined WILMAH as a board member in 2017 to help drive leadership and mentorship opportunities for women in the Animal Health Industry.
   As a board member, it is my role to help cultivate the vision of WILMAH and assist in driving the ways in which women in the animal health industry can make a difference not only in themselves, but for their respective companies and the broader industry. The road map to leadership is a challenging one and it is difficult to find strong mentors and a forum where you can share personal stories, professional successes and learning that help empower other individuals who might be on a similar path. Since becoming part of WILMAH, I have been very fortunate to work with and meet inspiring individuals who are all dedicated to the empowerment journey. WILMAH has created a community within the animal health industry in which women invest in each other through mentorship, personal development and avocation for action within the industry.
I have proudly served this industry for 15 years in various roles in marketing, sales, and training. The experience I have gained from these roles has always taken me back to the core message that empowering and supporting others = success. Having inspiring leaders, advocates and colleagues that share their successes and failures is extremely important as one embarks on their own leadership journey. Understanding that you have the power to be the type of leader you want to be and surrounding yourself with the support systems and mentors that hold you accountable is the recipe for success. WILMAH provides the platform to establish these types of relationships and I am truly excited about where this organization is heading.
   I find that sharing my experiences and mentoring others can help shape future leaders. Being a member of WILMAH gives me the opportunity to do just that. As I look towards the future of the organization, I reflect on two famous female quotes that continue to fuel the need for organizations like ours:
“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.” ~ Serena Williams
“Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with the why they are doing it.” ~ Marilyn Hewson
I hope you will become a member of WILMAH and contribute to this wonderful organization. Please visit our website at to learn more.
The first Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health event at a livestock-specific meeting was recently held during the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA tradeshow.  With beignets and fruit to nibble on, the come & go event offered attendees the ability to hear about the insider dining locations for New Orleans in order to wow their customers, no matter their taste buds, during the convention week.  Several of WILMAH’s board members shared the vision and opportunities within WILMAH.  Of course, the networking that followed between established cohorts, media, and enthusiastic young talent generated lots of laughs, ideas, and future plans including an outline for next year’s event that you won’t want to miss! It was a great start to hosting WILMAH events at additional industry venues, so if you have suggestions for other locations or meetings, please let us know.
A big thanks to Merck Animal Health for hosting the room and the food for the event!

(Pictured above center: WILMAH Board Members Lesli Stasiek and Jennie Hogden, Ph.D. Pictured above bottom right: Mr. Russell)
Learning to Lead in Animal Health
Wow! We are so excited about how many of you joined us to listen to our panel discuss Learning to Lead in Animal Health at the Western Veterinary Conference! We anticipated about 70 attendees and actually had over 125 men and women attend. Our panelists were so engaging and shared their wisdom on a variety of leadership topics.
Moderator Dr. Susan Jones started the evening asking our panelists to share their definition of leadership. They responded with messages about the importance of open communication, trust and vulnerability.
“I would echo trust. Your people need to trust you; you need to trust your people. Lead by example. Never ask your people to do something you wouldn’t do. You have to empower your people.” –Paul Mercier
They went on to discuss that leaders today aren’t in an ivory tower looking down at their teams. Instead, leaders need to surround themselves with a team of talented people that they trust and empower them to think and act independently. Then they need to step back and let their team members shine when they succeed.
“As a leader, you get a lot of really genuine fulfillment out of seeing other people grow while you reach a goal together that you’ve defined.” –Sarah Cloud
Jamie brought up the importance of seeking out great mentors for yourself who will point out how you can improve and give you guidance.  
“I was blessed to have a lot of great mentors in my life that were very quick to point out where I was screwing up. I joke, but it’s really important. You have to seek those people out because if you just wait for someone to come and offer to help you, it’s probably not going to happen. Being open to taking a mentor and actually investing that time, that for me was huge.” – Jamie Carroll
Denise went on to share how important collaboration and personal development are.
“You’ve gotta have that collaboration and that open dialogue to be able to be successful and bring the best of the best and check your ego at the door. Every day, as leaders, you have to work on yourself; you have to continue to improve and continue to practice what you preach. In this room, we’ve probably read every book, we’ve “leaned in”, we’ve done it all. You really have to walk the walk and some days it’s hard.” Denise Bevers
Susan continued the conversation by asking about “bad bosses” and the advice our panelists would have for someone facing that situation. They replied that staying true to yourself and your personal ethics is key. If you can manage that, focus on your team and your own personal fulfillment while executing job performance then maybe you can stay in the role. However, if that manager impacts your personal worth then it’s probably time to look elsewhere for a new job. After all, the number one reason employees leave a company is their direct manager. Denise encouraged everyone to conduct a 360 degree review to really understand how your team perceives you. Jamie shared that it’s important to understand what is motivating your manager, which led to additional discussion on the importance of transparency in a leader and of educating your team about your expectations. Susan closed the discussion by asking our panelists to share their thoughts on the most important behavior for a leader.
"Transparency builds trust, it truly does. You can’t tell everything but tell everything you can.” - Paul Mercier

“Stop saying I’m sorry. Don’t beat yourself up about things that are beyond your control.” -Sarah Cloud
(She also shared that as women we need to support each other more and cheer for the success of our peers!)
“Empower people to go take some good risks. Don’t repeat that mistake. Make a betters mistake tomorrow. Own it like a boss! Communicate with others around you so that no one on your team or in your department makes the same mistake. If you embrace that philosophy it’s freeing.” -Jamie Carroll

“You can’t be innovative if you don’t take risks. Be authentic. Be vulnerable. People are just people. I’m still the 21 year old kid in college, we all feel that way. It makes such a difference in the team dynamics when they see you as a human being.” - Denise Bevers
Thank you again to our panelists and our moderator for sharing your time and expertise to bring us such a lively and informative discussion!

(Pictured above center: Denise Bevers, Jamie Carroll, Susan Jones, Sarah Cloud and Paul Mercier. Pictured above bottom right: WILMAH Board Members Heather Fox, Heidi Madsen, Kristin Kasselman, Meggan Harris and Betsy Watkins.)

We're excited to announce the winners of our January contest! Felicie Lewis (pictured here) won a copy of The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Dethmer, Chapman and Warner-Klemp after our panel discussion at the WVC and Mary Bogner won for following us on Linked In. Congratulations ladies, we hope you enjoy the book!
Celebrating Diversity
In honor of Black History Month we asked two prominent women in our industry to share a little of their professional journey and leadership advice with us.
Tyre D. Grant, PhD
Tyre is a Senior Director of Food Animal Product Development at Elanco. 
We asked Tyre to answer a few questions about leadership and share her experience with us.

Q: How do you define leadership? Leadership is about navigating a group to achieve a common goal(s).
Q: How do you mentor future leaders within your organization?
By encouraging them to keep the core of who they are but be very self-aware of strengths and weaknesses. Get a group of people that you trust that can give you blunt feedback on your blind spots
Q: What do you do to nurture talent and encourage career progression?
I like to match talented individuals with opportunities that I think will not only match the individual’s strengths, but also stretch them and give them a broader experience. I like to see them have “ah ha moments” and conquer things that would have scared them a little in the past.
What have you learn from impactful leaders in your life?
To be human! Sounds so simple, but sometimes we expect leaders to be without flaws, but they taught me to share by sharing their stories of “failure” and how they rebounded.
Q: How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
Diversity, diversity, diversity! Make sure that you have a mixture of people that approach problems and think differently than you.
Q: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
The ability to empower others, you can achieve so much more when you empower others.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?
To balance personal development with developing others, if you are effectively leading others and very passionate about it, your own personal development often becomes secondary.
Q: What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?
Inability to received feedback! Feedback is a gift!
Q: Can you explain the impact, if any, that social media has made on your organization or you personally?
Social media has led people to expect that they have the right to information instantaneously and that everything is fair game. Working in a Pharma role and in an area where 95% of it is confidential makes it challenging, especially with younger employees in the workforce.
Q: It can be lonely at the top in a management role within an organization, where do you go for support and guidance?
My family is the largest part of my support system.  For guidance, I have a few trusted colleagues in the company but I also have a network of leaders at other corporations in leadership that I meet with constantly.
Devetta James
Devetta was recently promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations at AmerisourceBergen (MWI Animal Health's parent company).

Devetta has been with the organization for almost 13 years. She was hired by ASD Healthcare to develop their associate training program. They were "experiencing tremendous growth and didn’t have any structure around integrating new associates into the organization," she shared. "As I was developing the program, I recognized there were opportunities to gain some operations efficiency and that we needed to implement new technology to support the growth. I was asked to develop it as well and that moved me into more of an Operations role. I have been in operations ever since and loving every minute of it!  

We asked her to share what she learned from someone who has had a tremendous impact on her as a leader? Devetta explained that her mother was that person. "She taught me how to navigate through different experiences without losing the essence of who I am and it applies to both my professional and personal life."

When asked how she nurtures talent and encourages career progression Devetta gave this advice: "encourage people to get out of their comfort zone. Career progression is not always a straight line. Sometimes you have to go left or right and that allows you to gain experiences in areas that may not seem like a natural career progression.

She went on to say, "the biggest challenge a lot of leaders are facing today is evolution. We are in a time where a lot of industries are changing. There is a lot of competition and a lot of disruption. As the market or an industry evolves our challenge is how do we develop strategies that allow us to be the change or respond quickly to change."

Final thoughts? "I would like to say to WILMAH, thank you for developing an organization that supports women leaders through networking, professional development and mentoring. It is through support, preparedness and confidence that we will continue to develop and grow in our purpose, passion and careers." We say thank you Devetta for leading the way for women leaders in healthcare!
Last month at WILMAH’s event at VMX in Orlando, Elanco’s President and CEO Jeff Simmons joined 150 animal health leaders in Dr. Kate Price’s session - Conscious Leadership: How Women Can Inspire Change. He also talked to attendees on the need for more women leaders within the industry. We sat down with Jeff after the session to learn more.
Q: You stayed for the entire WILMAH session as VMX, taking part in the table exercises. What did you learn while you were there?
A: I’ve spent time with Dr. Price previously, so I knew the session would be with packed with insight from her. What I didn’t expect was that her message on how women can look inside and inspire change would apply so well to women and men in our industry. The message resonated with me and sparked some very good, open conversation at our table and in the room.
We discussed several areas, including the fact that diversity drives inclusion and in today’s competitive marketplace for talent, we must be an inclusive industry. We also discussed the reach of animal health, touching nearly everyone through food and pets. This is such a unique position to be in, and we must tell this story to attract more talent. Finally, the last insight I took away was that women in leadership want the bar to rise for all, ensuring the quality of talent is high.
That openness and vulnerability from the attendees added to my view that we have a responsibility as leaders in animal health to do more to support and grow women leaders.
Q: In your comments to WILMAH attendees, you talked about the need for industry collaboration to increase the numbers of women in leadership and management – not competing against one another. Why do you think this is so important? What can be done?
A: Animal Health is such a changing, maturing, dynamic industry. The face of the customers we serve are changing, especially our veterinarians and farmers. In 2018, AVMA cited female veterinarians comprise 60% of those in private practice and 57% of the workforce in public/corporate roles. There’s similar growth in farming, as 30% of farm operators are women in the U.S. It’s easy to see why we need the leadership women bring to our industry.
We’ve seen the number of women in our management ranks grow in our industry – but it’s not enough. I’m certainly not satisfied. I’m convinced we need to stop comparing ourselves to our past and look at how to move forward and benchmarking successful industries outside our own. If we look ahead and come together as an industry to collaborate on solutions, we can make progress at a more rapid pace.
At Elanco, we’ve called on our leadership to put meaningful initiatives and measurement in place. We’ve taken our teams through Conscious Inclusion training, put sponsorship programs in place, and goals/measures for women in management. We’ve seen a 10 percent increase of women in management in less than five years. While we continue to improve, I’m looking to our industry to see how we can also improve as a whole.
Q: As a CEO in a leading animal health company, what can women leaders do to accelerate their careers?
A: I agree with Dr. Price’s comments on a few areas where women can focus and accelerate their careers. First, don’t wait for the exact right moment to move forward. Summon the courage and belief in your skills and capabilities. Rarely do any of us meet every single requirement in a job description or know every detail of a subject. We need you to jump in and contribute your voice and expertise.
Second, look inside yourself and understand your own vulnerabilities and strengths. The research presented in the session on the advantage women have in the area of emotional intelligence is intriguing. As our industry continues to evolve and our customer base becomes increasingly female, there is untapped potential within our women leaders in this area. What are your strengths and how can they move our companies – and your career – forward? What are the watch out areas where you can continually improve?
Finally, don’t be dependent on one advocate to help move your career forward. And don’t let one bad supervisor become a roadblock or let a toxic culture derail your career. Instead, create a “board of directors” that you can consult on career challenges and opportunities. Surround yourself with diverse, supportive people who’ve already navigated what you’re facing right now.
Q: Any closing thoughts for WILMAH members?
A: Continue to challenge the status quo. Help make us better as leaders and as an industry. I credit women leaders at Elanco like WILMAH founder Julia Loew who evolves my thinking and continually inspires me. She saw the need and the potential for WILMAH to help increase women in leadership and management in our industry. She didn’t hesitate and moved her idea forward, enlisted a group from within the industry, and asked for our executive team’s support to make WILMAH a reality. For our industry to grow and succeed, we need more action just like this from all our leaders.

Thank You To Our Diamond Sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim!

Our corporate sponsors are critical to our efforts to bring events and content to our members. Their support allows us to do great things such as hire speakers, pay for webinars or host a networking event. We genuinely appreciate them and hope you'll help us share our thanks. 
“For over 130 years, since our foundation by Albert Boehringer, our focus is on long-term performance rather than being limited by short-term profits. Day by day, the 50,000 employees of Boehringer Ingelheim create value through innovation with a clear goal: to provide more health and improve the lives of both humans and animals. When animals are healthy, humans are healthier too. We commit to making the industry even better at improving both human and animal health” To learn more about Boehringer Ingelheim click here.
As a Diamond Sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim enjoys many benefits including 50 complimentary memberships and recognition as a corporate sponsor on all of our webinars. If your company would like to learn more about the benefits of corporate sponsorship email us.

Next week we will celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th. #IWD2019 This year's theme encourages us to strive for gender balance. "Better the balance. Better the world". Send us an email with a picture of yourself with your hands out striking the "#BalanceforBetter" pose and showing your support for gender equality. We'll feature some of those photos in our next newsletter. If we choose your photo and you're not already a member, you'll earn FREE access to our members only webinar next month!

Read more about gender differences in the workplace in Research-Based Advice for Working Women in Male-Dominated Fields by the Harvard Business Review.

Upcoming Events

March 26th, 12:00pm EST

Members Only Webinar:
Building Your Personal Brand Online
by Lisa Beyer
Mark you calendar and join us for our first webinar of 2019! Whether you are trying to establish yourself as a thought leader or recruiting new talent to your team, your online presence matters. Control what people find when they google you to learn more about you.
(Additional information will be emailed to our members closer to the date.)

May 5th

Join us for a two hour seminar at the annual UVSA (previously AVDA) conference at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, TN. Look for additional details in our next newsletter or on our Linked In page.
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