Designed to encourage diversity and promote more gender equality in the medical aesthetic space, the recently announced Women in Aesthetics Leadership Council has emerged as a forward-thinking initiative to bolster the leadership roles of female physicians, clinical trial investigators, CEOs, business owners and practice managers.
Developed by Galderma Laboratories, a division of Nestle Skin Health (Fort Worth, Texas), the council has attracted top aesthetic physicians around the U.S., who are committed to working together to empower women to succeed.
“There are some amazing female business leaders in this industry now,” stated Alisa Lask, general manager and vice president, U.S. Aesthetic at Nestle Skin Health. “Our goal is to support the movement of women into more leadership positions in medical societies, clinical research, training organizations and to develop the trend in female focused aesthetic business ownership.”
Council members serve as expert consultants in advisory boards in key U.S. markets, where they help guide the growth of programs and resources that support female-led businesses and research projects, added Ms. Lask.
“While over 85% of consumers in the aesthetic market are female, it is shocking that women still lag behind significantly in top leadership roles,” stated Lisa Espinoza, M.D., owner and medical director at La Chele Medical Aesthetics (New Hope, Penn.) “I am exhilarated and encouraged that Galderma has created these forums to bring female entrepreneurs together to collaborate, share business tips and empower each other to take on greater roles to help shape the future of aesthetics.”
According to Lara Devgan, M.D., P.L.L.C., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City, N.Y., “We all have deeply held beliefs and archetypes about what professional people look like. For instance, what does a police officer look like? What does a kindergarten teacher look like? What does a surgeon look like? Those archetypes are rapidly changing and this women’s leadership council is help helping to pave the way for that. Improving diversity at the highest levels of organizations will have longer-term effects.”
To that end, Galderma has committed to funding and promoting this brand of increased diversity within an industry that is viewed by many as an “old boys’ club.”
“The first step should involve giving more visibility to the female leaders in the field,” expressed Dr. Devgan. “Give more thought to who are the headlining physicians and surgeons, because that does pave the way and sends a message to other people in the field. Help create a culture of mentorship where the older generation helps the younger generation, male or female across all demographics, to be better, more ethical and safer practitioners.”
“While we are all very savvy and have gone through medical school, the business side of running an actual functioning practice is still a little bit elusive,” said Dr. Devgan. Thus, council members will also work with Galderma and the industry overall to help seed business ideas for younger entrepreneurs in the beauty and wellness space.