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One on One PharmaVOICE 100 Celebration with Amy Turnquist

Listen to the recent PharmVOICE One-on-One celebration with Taren Grom and our own Amy Turnquist as they discuss the gender gap and the role technology will play in the future.

Interview transcription below:  

Taren Grom: Amy, congratulations on being named to the 2020 PharmaVOICE 100!

Amy Turnquist: Thank you! It is very, very exciting.

Grom: And, thank you for joining us for our 24-hour celebration marathon!

Turnquist: [Laughs] Yes, I knew this was going to be spectacular. You always go big, Taren, it is really exciting to see it happen.

Grom: Well, you know what they say: Go big or go home. We are staying so we are going big.

Turnquist: [Laughs] And we are here, right!

Grom: Amy, we have a shared passion for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). As a leader within the HBA, tell me about ways you think companies can best address the issue of the gender gap.

Turnquist: Taren, that is a great question. The first way we can start to address [this issue] is to stop treating this as a women’s issue. For years, we have had women’s ERG groups and women’s leadership initiatives, which were a great first step, but what we were doing for many years was bringing women together to talk to other women about what it is like to be woman at said company and how those women could change. Right? Conversations about how to lean in, how to self-advocate better, what women could do to find better sponsors or mentors and take more responsibility for their advancement. What we are now finding is that that approach is not working because this is not a women’s issue. One of the things companies can do to really make a difference is to stop thinking of it as a women’s issue. Instead, bring men and women together, not so much to focus on getting women to change but about removing some of the obstacles in the environment and the systemic processes that are inherent in some of our organizations that keep and prevent women from finding new opportunities. So, taking more of a collaborative approach to focus on how the organization can evolve, rather than focus on how women themselves can change. Does that make sense?

Grom: Well said, thank you so much, yes, that is great. I know that you have a real passion and an expertise in this digital space. Talk to me about where you see some of the greatest opportunities for digital disruption as we go forward.

Turnquist: It is funny Taren, we have been talking about digital disruption now for years. [Digital disruption] has been a buzzword for at least five years now. I do not think any of us could have really predicted what digital disruption really looks like until 2020 hit and we are trying to talk about digital disruption in the middle of widescale disruption in the middle of a pandemic. It is going to be interesting. We are at the early stages of figuring out what digital disruption really means.

I see a couple things in terms of how we have had to change. For example, rep access. How do brands now engage with physicians and ensure they have the information they need to provide strong outcomes and care plans for their patients? How are physicians and patients able to now engage through these new platforms like telehealth? Clearly telehealth will be one of our major disruptive factors. We are seeing new players enter the market. There is so much room to reenvision what that customer experience looks like, whether you are looking at the interaction between a physician and their patient or caregiver, or brands and how they communicate with their physicians or HCPs.

We are finally going to be forced to look at how we can use data to help capitalize on the full potential of some of these digital or virtual technologies. For years we have been capturing data and providing information about physician engagement but honestly, I do not think there was a deep focus on understanding and activating that data to create a true engagement and intimacy. We are seeing a real pressure for not just collecting data but understanding it and using it to create better experiences. That is where we are going to see some real performers come out on top when [this pandemic is over].

Grom: Awesome. Thank you so much, Amy, for joining us and for sharing your great insights. We really appreciate your time.

Turnquist: Thank you! I appreciate the opportunity.

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