HBA Networking Event: The Concept of Courage

When: Sandwiched between International Women’s Day and International Equal Pay Day, The London Assembly was very proud to play host to a Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) networking event.

Who: The HBA connects like minded professionals within the Healthcare industry, encouraging them to share their expertise and grown their leadership skills. Kathrin Schönborn-Sobolewski is vice president of global clinical operations at Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. With more than 25 years of global healthcare experience in project leadership, business development, strategic innovation, and global clinical operations. She is recognized as an inspiring leader with a proven track record of success. In 2015 she was honored as an HBA Luminary.

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association was founded in the United States in 1977 and has grown since then to include more than 6,000 members. Because it is a solution-oriented, pragmatic network for learning and increasing management skills in particular, the HBA became popular quickly.

“Nobody would want the organization to be simply a place where people can gripe and complain,” says Schönborn-Sobolewski. “It’s meant to be a productive place that helps us move forward.”

Eight years ago the HBA expanded to Europe, and soon regional groups were established in cities including Milan, Paris, Basel, and London.

“Soon after that I said to myself, I shouldn’t have to travel across Europe in order to benefit from the network. It should also be possible to have meetings in the Rhine-Main region,”

Eventually it did become possible. Under her leadership, an HBA group consisting of women from various companies in and around Frankfurt is now active on a regular basis and these were the ladies gathered together for a inspiring networking event hosted by the London Assembly Boutique.

What: 35 ladies enjoyed Riesling Wine from local vineyard Weingut Petershof, alongside a selection of tasty nibbles including Schwarze Hesse Chutney created by Frankfurt’s own Genusswolke. Guests enjoyed presentations on the theme of courage in business by both myself and Cordula Goj, who entertained the networking ladies with an Italian Aria and an inflatable man! Alongside the opportunity to meet and find out more about the HBA, the ladies had the chance to browse the latest spring collections direct from the designer’s London showrooms. A striped dress designed by JDC London proved particularly popular and I hope that the science world will be very proud of its super stylish ladies marching ever closer to scientific break through, development and innovation alongside the equal pay they clearly deserve.

Courage in business and in life is the ability to strive forward and endeavour the unknown in spite of fear or apprehension. In order to achieve the unexpected, to break new ground and push oneself to experience and embrace new challenges, we must all find the courage within ourselves to move beyond our comfort zones. It is my belief that by sharing our stories, supporting our young people to be brave and by working together,  great things can be accomplished.

Hard work, perseverance and imagination are key and what a pleasure it was to discuss these matters with such a diverse and interesting group of ladies.


A Silberzahn


Comments are closed.