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Beyond the Bottom Line: 10 Insights from Leading Women in Life Sciences

Life Sciences Lunch Series Panel Image“Women hold approximately 10% of upper-level management positions in science and technology industries,” according to a current study, which makes the accomplishments of the following women that much more impressive. Not only have they navigated their careers to become successful executives, but they have also achieved this in the face of significant adversity. In a recent life sciences panel discussion, these women shared valuable insights from their experiences in working their way to the top.

Overcoming challenges:

  • “Give your self breathing room . . . to make those decisions around your challenges.” —Alisa Wright, CEO, BioConvergence LLC
  • “You only know what you know . . . find your voice and decide your next step.” —Terri Pascarelli, Vice President, YourEncore

Finding and leveraging a sponsor/coach: 

  • “Meet more people and find out what they are doing. ‘Shop’ for your sponsor until you find that right fit.” —Alisa
  • “You have to ask someone who is at the table that you aren’t at yet.” —Terri
  • “It’s also important to find an executive coach.  This is someone outside of your business who can be objective and help to encourage you down a path to get to that next level.” —Jean Scallon, CEO, Bloomington Meadows Hospital

Guidance for leaders:

  • “‘If you have that dream, then go after it because it is going to take some time to build a dream worth building. Know what your dreams are and go after them. Today is the day to do it!’” —Alisa, quoting her mentor
  • “Make a decision, and if it is the wrong one, make another one quickly.”  —Jean
  • “1) Be present, 2) talk to each other instead of about each other, and 3) don’t be wedded to outcomes.” —Terri
  •  “People are the true riches. [Do] anything you can do to help encourage and help them. ‘People don’t care [how much] you know until they know [how much] you care’ will take you far and give you a bridge to have other conversations.” —Alisa, with quote from John C. Maxwell

Resources for continuous improvement:

  • “Pause—if you have started a business or in general in our busy lives, we often don’t take time to hit the pause button.” —Alisa, referencing ideas from The Pause Principal by Kevin Cashman

This discussion was entitled “Voices of Influence—Leading Women in Life Sciences,” presented by the Life Science Practice Group of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and the Indiana Health Industry Forum during a monthly Life Sciences Lunch Series. To attend future in-person discussions or to join the series virtually, register at

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Lesli Stasiek

Lesli Stasiek

Global Manger, Business Development and Marketing at BioConvergence LLC
Lesli leads the business development and marketing groups at BioConvergence, with a focus on identifying marketplace trends and targeting new business opportunities for the organization. She has held a number of sales roles in her career including positions at Eli Lilly & Company and AstraZeneca. Lesli received her BS from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and her MA from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.