This year has been a real strain, to say the least, on our physical and mental wellbeing.
From working from home, the inability to see friends, family and colleagues, to potentially taking on new roles of homeschooling and caretaker, these newfound challenges have taken a considerable toll on our health. We’ve all been reminded of the importance of taking care of ourselves and each other. The topic of mental health has been front of mind for many over the past year, as well as ways to tackle it.
During National Women’s Health Week, we discussed this topic with women at Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company that is leading the digital transformation of life sciences and is the world’s most-used platform for clinical trials. We caught up with some of its senior executive women to talk about the significance of women’s health and how the past year has reiterated the focus on our health and wellbeing, as well as the importance of further research into women’s health issues. Here’s what they shared…
“National Women’s Health Week is an opportunity to recognize not only what is unique and important about women’s health but also the important role women are playing in healthcare, as advocates, caregivers, and leaders. This goes beyond women in the healthcare industry – we need to continue elevating women in government and other industries to advocate for each other. I see women’s health as holistic – we need to consider the physical, mental, and emotional aspects. It is also far reaching given the integral roles women hold in their families, organizations, and communities. Focusing on women’s health not only affects a woman as an individual but has impacts and benefits for all of us.”
Stephanie Chueh, Director, Sales Strategy and Strategic Programs, Medidata
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of National Women’s Health week. It serves as a vital reminder to stop and take care of ourselves. As the ‘healthcare CEOs’ of our families we often take care of everyone else and then, last – ourselves. As someone who was treated for a serious illness found by regular, preventive care I certainly appreciate the importance of maintaining regular screenings and other critical health measures. With all the new health concerns that COVID-19 has introduced into our world, it’s more important than ever that women take the time and the care we need.”
Wendy Lurrie, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Medidata
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey – the lives you feel responsibility for or the burdens you carry. National Women’s Health Week is an opportunity to learn what is unique and important about women’s health; to take time to reflect on your own physical, mental and emotional health; and to commit for yourself and for others, to taking care.”
Jill Brennan, Senior Vice President, Sales EMEA, Medidata
“There are many things in life that we are not in control of and this past year living with the COVID pandemic, to say the least, is an example of this. We have seen how fragile life is when humanity is exposed to such a virus and the importance of keeping healthy physical and mental stamina. What we can control is ensuring we take time for ourselves and our own health and wellbeing and making this a regular routine. We are all unique and one person’s health and wellbeing initiative may not work for another, but there is such a broad range of activities that could be put into our daily routine that suits each individual. National Women’s Health Week serves as a reminder of the importance of this and that our health and wellbeing is key to quality of life and longevity – the week serves as a great way to connect and share ideas with the wider community.”
Fiona Maini, Principal Global Compliance and Strategy, Medidata
“The global pandemic has inevitably put our health and wellbeing at the forefront of our minds. If we add this to the proliferation of devices used to measure our every move, calories burnt and even hours of sleep, women now have access to drill down in our health and how it changes over time. As women, I believe we have a duty to support and empower one another not just from a physical perspective but also from a mental health perspective. I am often inspired by my own friends who have battled cancer and chronic brain conditions and hope that, as part of their recovery, my support and “cheerleader” attitude played a small part in improving their mental and subsequent physical wellbeing.”
Laura Foulkes, Director, Business Development EMEA, Medidata
“Striving for equity in women’s health research is essential: and the beneficiaries won’t only be women. While women comprise over 50% of the population, there are far fewer research and development dollars (and far fewer research hours) dedicated to healthcare conditions that uniquely affect us, like endometriosis, or primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). By learning more about these conditions and how to treat them, we can not only help women who are suffering, but we can also learn fascinating and important human biology (such as tissue regeneration) that can affect everybody and move science forward.”
Ana Oromendia, Senior Director of Product, Acorn AI, Medidata
“Having only recently joined the healthcare / life sciences industry, I’ve been constantly amazed and inspired by what a tremendous role women are playing in healthcare. Amazed – because the more I read about women’s contributions in this field, the more I realize the importance of furthering these contributions to fuel more development, ultimately delivering the medicine and treatments we all need. I’m also inspired, as I’ve never worked in a space that fosters open dialogue around women’s health. National Women’s Health Week is a great opportunity to continue the conversation around this critical topic, and the importance of health and wellbeing.”
Jen Rolfe, Digital Marketing Manager EMEA, Medidata
“National Women’s Health Week is a great opportunity for women to step back and take a look at their health. Over the last year we have seen all of us have to wear so many hats and in many cases focusing so much on the people around us instead of our own health. Working in our industry we know post-COVID we will face a new level of both physical and mental health. If we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t be able to be there as mothers, teachers, wives, counselors, employees, leaders, mentors, and more.”
Linda Magrath, Vice President, Customer Support, Medidata
“The last 14+ months have been incredibly hard on everyone and a recent study by the University of Huddersfield concluded that COVID-19 and the lockdown have had a disproportionate impact on women, who have been more than twice as likely as men to experience mental health problems, exacerbated by the challenge of working at home while taking on extra responsibilities such as home schooling. In the last 12 months, Medidata took the initiative to train 15 EMEA employees to become certified Mental Health First Aiders during this challenging time to help provide support to colleagues who may be struggling to cope. Completing the training has benefited me in many ways, not only being able to support colleagues, but also to carry that training over into my family life as I have 17 and 18 year old daughters whose world and schooling was turned upside down.”
Leigh Quigg, Marketing Director EMEA, Medidata
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