JPM17: Prophase CEO Joins Boardroom Ready Program to Take Next Career Step
1/9/2017 6:48:12 AM
January 9, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
No matter where your office in the c-suite level is, the important decisions for a company direction are made at the board level. That’s one reason that compelled Sofija Jovic, chief executive officer of ProPhase, to apply to participate in the inaugural Women in Bio Boardroom Ready program.
Jovic, who sits atop a clinical trials solutions company, said it can make an executive an even better leader if he, or she as the case may be, serves on a company board of directors. Not only will serving on a board help an individual’s leadership capabilities, Jovic said a company is better served by having different viewpoints represented by a female members.
Jovic said she is passionate about the representation of women at executive and corporate governance levels and believe it to be one of the untapped sources of growth and transformation in business and science.
“You want the board to be representative of stakeholders in all ways. Women are moving into higher positions and are changing thought leadership,” Jovic said. “In life sciences you’re making a product that’s touching everyone. You’re developing products that have a big impact on people and the way things used to be done was very different.”
When building a board, Jovic said there are elements of trust that must be considered, as well as wanting to include people who will not only challenge the status quo, but make things better in the long run.
“It’s about diversity of thought and decision making and the need to have that, or a company can suffer in its decisions. It makes you a better executive if you serve on another board,” Jovic said.
The Boardroom Ready program serves as a training ground for women candidates to hone their skills and become top-line candidates for open board positions. The Boardroom Ready program included coursework on a myriad of topics including include fiduciary responsibility, corporate governance, investor relations, legal liability, corporate strategy and risk management.
In two, two-day sessions, the program provided training in typical board applications.
The program has a goal of 100 percent placement on a board for the 20 candidates. That goal is something that sets it apart from a typical networking organization, Jovic said. She said the Women in Bio Boardroom Ready program is addressing a fundamental barrier to serving on a board—identifying qualified female candidates who are interested in serving.
She said the Boardroom Ready program wasn’t so much about filling in knowledge gaps the women may not have had, it was more about removing barriers to serving. As the inaugural class breaks down barriers, Jovic said the 20 women, herself included, will serve as ambassadors and advocates for women being on boards.
“Being part of the program means we’re sensitized to the issue. They know the 20 of us will be advocates,” she said. “The life science industry is huge, but we’re pretty deeply networked.”
That deep network will allow Jovic and others to become mentors to other women who may be looking to hone their skills —something Jovic said is important to all the women involved in the inaugural class.
“That was an amazing group of women in the Boardroom Ready program who have a lot of knowledge and skills that will serve any board well,” she said.