Re-Defining Power
May 22, 2014
By Bettina Experton MD, MPH, Humetrix President & CEO

Last week I attended the Forbes Women's Summit and was struck by the gathering of so many accomplished and strong women at the top of their game. The theme of the event was “Redefining Power” and that is exactly what the event was all about.

What struck me about the speakers and attendees – women in leadership positions in corporate America, finance, IT, media, consumer goods, healthcare and food industry – was the lack of typical corporate barriers. Everyone there was genuinely interested in each other’s experience, genuinely supportive of one another, and really open to exchanging ideas.

I was also impressed by everyone’s focus on the common good. The conversations and presentations throughout the event were not ego-driven. Instead, the speakers shared their vision and mission for organizations or movements that serve a higher purpose.

Some of the highlights for me included: Robin Roberts, of ABC, who lead a powerful discussion on leadership, and as a physician I was humbled by her healing power and ability to communicate her life experience; Michelle Howard, vice admiral of the Navy, was remarkable telling the audience to exercise military power or display dissuasive power to support diplomatic action. She also insisted on the creativity power of women to be strong problem solvers. Goldie Hawn was inspiring with her assertion that we are all over-medicated, kids in particular and has a tangible solution with her Mind Up Foundation, which guides children so they can concentrate and have a more positive outlook.

As a physician entrepreneur in the boomer age category who has strived to develop IT tools especially to help baby boomers manage the care of aging parents, children and themselves, I enjoyed hearing from Jo Ann Jenkins, the new AARP CEO when giving an Excellence Award to Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup saying, "no one better than women boomer CEOs could address the needs of baby boomers!”

Collaborating for a higher purpose is a key corporate value here at Humetrix. We work to empower patients and make them more informed healthcare consumers, and we think about ways to make life easier for parents, caregivers and families in an increasingly complex healthcare environment. It was inspiring to be with so many other women working for the common good, in so many different areas. As women continue to take on leadership roles across different industries and in government, I hope and expect that more and more companies will approach their business through this lens – doing well, while doing good.

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