HBA Women in Transition Affinity Group Pilots a Power Breakfast with Charlotte Sibley and Shire Pharmaceuticals

by Alma Azua-Cassady and Beverly Buckta

Everyone knows 2009 was a challenging year for the healthcare industry worldwide and the economy in general.  Sounds like nothing new.  From global sales reduction in the healthcare industry to daily reports on the US healthcare reform anyone can feel confused or even paralyzed with the tremendous amount of information. Fortunately, organizations like HBA are actively engaged in creating solutions even in the midst of change of macro-economic proportions.

On December 15, 2009, a subset of talented professionals from the HBA-Greater Philadelphia Women in Transition Affinity Group met with Charlotte Sibley, HBA Woman of the Year 2008, and supporter of the WIT mission.  Charlotte welcomed members of the first WIT Job Search Work Team (JSWT) to Shire Pharmaceuticals to share.  The group’s Beverly Buckta shares her experience:

“Wow – here I am, a ‘Woman in Transition.’   Having never been in this situation before and having it happen in the worst economic time of our lifetimes, what do I do? Where can I get advice? What has been successful for others?

“Networking is SO important anytime,  but specially when seeking employment in the healthcare industry. I have always been a strong networker. I had been a member of a few nationwide and local networking and professional groups in Pennsylvania for many years.  One group I have always enjoyed is HBA. I always supported their objectives and, having worked as a Senior Leader in a global industry, I am a woman in a field where there were very few women, so I appreciate HBA’s leadership and support for its members.

“Little did I know that the Women in Transition and Job Search Work Team group really helps put HBA’s objectives into action.  I have been a member of WIT.  Recently a leader in HBA, Charlotte Sibley (SVP, Shire) hosted us for a motivational uplift. She gave us hope and shared great advice on what has worked for others. She gave us information on career advancement and education, as well as tips on expanding our networking. We left the meeting feeling inspired and knowing that we can count on the HBA Leaders.

“I am wowed with WIT and am hopeful that my network with HBA and demonstrated support from other women leader exemplars will help me land a position where I can leverage my education and experience and add tremendous value to my next company.”

Countless individuals have benefited from leadership development through the HBA and this session was no exception.  HBA members employed at the regions’ healthcare organizations have the opportunity to impact careers and networking in what could be either a formal or an informal information session.  By cultivating leadership in others, the “seize the day” philosophy is without a question, one of many ways HBA leaders carry the torch toward the future.

Ending 2009, we are now in a hopeful 2010 with HBA at our side. Through HBA/WIT, we will show that women leaders are strong at networking and coaching.   To join the HBA Greater Philadelphia chapter, Women in Transition Affinity Group send a message to:HBAWomenInTransition@yahoo.com.


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