Q&A with Michelle King Robson, Two-time Business Award Winner
Michelle King Robson, Founder, Chairperson, and CEO of EmpowHER Media in Scottsdale, Arizona USA, was named Chairman of the Year in the management awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the top awards program in America recognizing achievements in the workplace. (Entries for the 2012 edition of the ABAs will open in October - join the mailing list.)
What do you see as the top 3 changes/innovations in health care for women around the world?
1. Technology is making it far easier for women to take charge of their health and to be better informed through sites such as EmpowHER.com and many others.
2. Because of this technology, more women are voicing their health concerns or making their own decisions. For too long women have suffered silently—maybe it’s something in our DNA—but now we need to take charge of everything that affects our health.
3. Women are physically different from men (surprise) so we shouldn’t have to rely on drug trials that are based on results in men only. Currently only 37% of clinical trials target women’s health issues, and we have to change this.
There’s still so much that needs to change, but technology is a real game changer. Now women anywhere can get the information they need to make informed decisions. This will have a positive impact globally.
What items of news recently caught your eye and why?
The biggest story in health care recently has been what’s going on in the field of biotechnology, and not just for women. There is a story coming out about something called DRACO being tested by researchers at MIT. It is possible that we will soon have a cure for the common cold, flu, and all kinds of viral infections. This could be as big as the discovery of penicillin.
I was also powerfully moved by the story of Diana Nyad, a 61-year-old- woman, who—even though she didn’t make it from Cuba to the Florida Keys—managed to swim 103 miles. Not too shabby! (And she might have completed the swim with the aid of DRACO …) Nyad said: “60 is the new 40,” and at EmpowHER we truly believe that you can accomplish anything, regardless of age. Nyad is an inspiration to all women.
One final story I have to mention is that, after all these years, women in the U.S.A. will finally be getting free birth control. Viagra had been covered by insurance for some time, but not birth control. It’s about time!
Do you have a favorite business app?
I am a news junky for anything to do with health care, so I have lots of apps that will channel breaking news to my iPad, including Flipboard.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I would have loved to have attended medical school and studied to be a doctor. As you can guess, health has always been my passion. When I was a girl there was not a lot of emphasis on higher education for women, but times have changed, and I am making sure that my own daughter receives a degree. Nonetheless, I don’t feel hampered by not having done this myself, and it hasn’t stopped me from achieving what I wanted. My mother always told me: “You can be whatever you want.” And she was right.
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
The team at EmpowHER Media has great passion for what they do: they work tirelessly to support my vision. They are dedicated to innovation, challenging the norm, and on finding new ideas or new ways to do things better. I always try to hire people who are smarter than I am and who can execute my vision. We now have an amazing team here in Scottsdale, Arizona.
What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?
Settling for second best. I have no patience for mediocrity. “No, we can’t” is not an acceptable answer in my office.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
Women have been short-changed in health care because no one has stood up for them. I believe that anything to do with our bodies should be the individual’s choice. Fortunately I have been able to make my voice heard and have been able to act as an advocate for women in health matters. I feel honored and privileged to be making a difference for women’s lives In the U.S. and around the world.
About Michelle King Robson
As Founder, Chairperson, and CEO of EmpowHER Media, Michelle King Robson has combined a successful track record as a business woman and entrepreneur with nearly two decades of civic and community leadership to lead what is today one of the fastest-growing digital-media companies in the world, focused on her passion for improving women's health. Michelle started the company following her personal struggle with a debilitating health issue. A tireless voice for women and the visionary behind EmpowHER, Michelle, a nationally recognized women’s health advocate, travels the world talking to women's groups, health care organizations, political leaders, regulatory bodies, and the media about women's health and wellness issues, and about the importance of women advocating for themselves and their loved ones. Her goal is to drive innovation and change in health care for women around the world.
EmpowHER Media is an award-winning, HON-certified health media company for women. The Company's flagship and Top 5 women's health and wellness site—EmpowHER.com—is an online community for female health consumers. We call them Chief Health and Wellness Officers of the Home. EmpowHER.com provides visitors access to one of the largest women's health and wellness content libraries on the Web, as well as one of the most active online communities of women discussing their health and wellness issues. Health care professionals, health and wellness marketers, and agency professionals rely on EmpowHER Media for reaching the most influential health and wellness buyer on the Internet: women. Millions of women visit EmpowHER.com every year, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing resources dedicated exclusively to women's health and wellness.