Building on the energy of BioOhio’s inaugural Women in Bioscience Conference in 2015, several workshops are being held this year around Ohio.

The first of these events was held in partnership with the Ohio chapter of the HBA (Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association) and hosted by BioOhio leadership member Ethicon on May 25 in Cincinnati.

The event began with an introduction of the HBA and Ethicon by Stephanie Muir, a member of the Ohio HBA Board of Directors and the VP of Research & Development at Ethicon.

The main discussion topic of this workshop was Personal Branding: Focusing on your Leadership Strengths. The featured speaker was Cindy Biggs, President of C. Biggs and Associates. Cindy opened with a quote from psychologist David Clifton, “What will happen when we think about what is RIGHT with people rather than fixating on what is WRONG with them?”

This question led into a discussion based on the book Strengths Based Leadership by bestselling authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. Attendees learned about the four main themes of leadership: Influencing, Executing, Strategic Thinking, and Relationship Building. Cindy encouraged discussion among attendees with questions such as “On the day you came home and thought you have the best job in the world – what did you do that day?” By knowing what excites you, you can identify your strengths, continue investing in them, and be confident in who you are.

The next portion of the event was a discussion panel on Personal Branding moderated by Tamara Widenhouse (Director, Preclinical Center of Excellence, Medical Device R&D, Johnson & Johnson) featuring speakers Nancy Riesz (President, Success Catalyst), Robyn Harris-Thornton (Lead Analyst, IT, Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson),  and Jan Rosenbaum (Chief Scientific Officer, Airway Therapeutics).

The speakers shared personal stories such as being sent to training for being too assertive or being looked over for opportunities because “people two-levels up didn’t know who I was.” A common theme among the discussion was taking charge of your brand and not just keeping your head down and getting your work done. Getting outside your comfort zone and taking advantage of opportunities to make yourself known are important if you want to be influential.

BioOhio extends a big thank you to our partners HBA Ohio and Ethicon, our speakers, and all attendees for making this a fantastic event! For more women-focused events, join BioOhio this September in Cleveland for the second Women in Bioscience workshop, and this November in Columbus for the second annual Women in Bioscience Conference.

Speaker Insights

“The biggest influence on my personal brand was when a new opportunity to build my skillset came.  The cage was gone. I could do what I always wanted to do.”

Jan Rosenbaum, Airway Therapeutics

“As a woman, you’re going to get a lot of pushback. If this [opportunity, career] is what you want, don’t let it stop you.”

Robyn Harris-Thornton, Ethicon

“The most important thing when creating your personal brand is knowing where you want to go and who can help you get there. Remember the three C’s: College, Colleagues, and Company. If you don’t know where you want to go, anywhere you end up will be okay.”

Nancy Riesz, Success Catalyst