Hall of Femme 2020: Alyson Connor, MicroMass Communications – Hall of Femme – MM&M

What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?  

I’ve spent my entire career in healthcare. It’s my passion and where I feel I can use my strengths to make an impact. I guess if I could do anything else I would be a professional global food critic specializing in desserts. If I could get paid to travel the world, sample the local confections, all while satisfying my sweet tooth, that would be a very satisfying career. I also think I could fall back on being a professional comedian. With three boys and three dogs, the chaos in my house creates comedic material I just can’t make up.   

Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?

Phil Stein has been my partner at MicroMass for 15 years. We always have very spirited conversations that result in thoughtfully considered decisions. Phil has kicked me in the butt when I needed it, helped me look at things from a different perspective and been an incredible friend along the way. 

Work to live, or live to work?  

100% work to live. I love what I do and I love the people I work with … but, my kids and I love to travel. I joke that I really work to fund our global travel adventures. Although, admittedly, I do have trouble unplugging completely — it’s something I’m working on this year.   

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?  

Healthcare is so siloed — from direct patient care to how pharmaceutical brand teams are structured.  This creates a continually disjointed experience for patients and forces them to carry the burden of continuity. It has always been frustrating to me that our industry continues to maintain an outdated siloed structure that ultimately decreases patient outcomes.

To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will …

Continue my commitment to coaching and mentorship. Mentorship is a win-win. It allows me to pay it forward and provide the advice, encouragement and opportunities as a much needed foundation for long and successful careers.  

Where would you like to see more progress in the #MeToo movement?  

#MeToo created an incredible global movement that brought much needed attention to the issues of sexual harassment and assault. I do believe we still have work to do in changing attitudes and behavior around gender and power in the workplace. Sexual misconduct at work is always about power. There is still much work to be done to assure that individuals with less power can work in safety. We need more women as heads of companies, board of directors and leaders throughout organizations. Creating an inclusive leadership culture allows diverse talent to shine and benefits everyone.  

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing? 

Find your voice — too often, as women, in our early careers we believe our work will speak for itself and that seldom happens. Speak up confidently. Don’t be afraid of failure or of being wrong. It happens — acknowledge it and move on. Find a great mentor!

Favorite song? 

“Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam.

What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?

This might be a really odd dinner party. 

My grandmother. She was a strong woman with a great sense of humor and always the life of any party, especially after a few drinks.

Amelia Earhart. A woman who refused to be confined by the rules of her time, an adventurer and pioneer. She and my grandmother would have a lot in common.

Trevor Noah. A great storyteller and comedian. A fascinating guy with a global perspective who, based on his description of his grandmother, might just be able to handle my grandmother.