Last week was all about the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) European Leadership summit held in London, UK. Zocket attended the 2-day summit and our very own CEO & Founder, Kieran Canisus, was invited to guest speak on day 2 of this eagerly awaited industry event.

We caught up with Kieran earlier this week for a roundup of this year’s HBA summit.



I had been extremely excited about this years HBA summit, not only to have the opportunity to guest speak on day 2, but the agenda itself for this year was packed full of inspirational and topical panel discussions, interactive sessions, workshops, and keynote guest speakers.

For me, this event is a serious opportunity to be a part of the change in diversity and gender equality in the workplace.

With 250 people in attendance and over 30 speakers and panelists, it was a record year for the HBA European Summit, an exciting 2 days with some fantastic discussions and workshops.

Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association



The 2017 agenda focused on cultivating and sharing ideas around vital information on the trends that will act the world tomorrow. Topics included forward-thinking, creative, and innovative concepts on how business “gets done”



The summit was attended by some very influential men and women within the healthcare industry and there was a certain buzz and positivity flowing through the summit over the 2 days.

The event was an honest and open experience, for me hearing the very personal stories about growth and challenges was a testament to the leaders themselves. It was amazing to hear these inspirational industry leaders and many colleagues describe their mistakes, challenges, successes, and impressive achievements, and it brought the audience to laughter, tears, and taught every one of us something new.

It was a high energy event and a real opportunity to network and meet some leading industry influencers.

I took the opportunity to participate in every session and even held my own roundtable on day 1 at the World Café Session. We had a lively and helpful discussion around the topic; There are more CEOs named David then there are Women in CEO positions, What is the effect of data on diversity to the speed of change within your organization? Best practices, greatest failures, and examples to get inspired and stimulate change.

We conducted workshops with 4 groups of 10 people, where we shared best practices, frustrating facts, and interesting stories about failed attempts at diversity. Some of the best insight came from how the groups adapted their hiring practices to support diversity.

With great pleasure to me personally was that the blind CV selection and adapted employer branding to promote authenticity and inclusiveness for candidates ranked high. I continue to smile deeply as these are at the very core of Zocket’s very own services.

We discussed the effects of being less strict with candidate requirements in order to be open to diverse candidate backgrounds, which in turn brings more successful teams. I ended the workshops by presenting some thought-provoking industry facts, which indeed prompted interesting reactions from both the men and women in attendance.


“For me, this event is a serious opportunity to be a part of the change in diversity and gender equality in the workplace.”


On day 2, I gave my TED-style talk on removing bias from hiring. It was well received and a career highlight for me to be invited to speak. It was simultaneously a self-induced uncomfortable experience for me and in hindsight actually really fun to reflect on my own hysterical reaction to that lack of comfort.

Gina Dunn, our Head of Marketing, was convinced I needed to do Facebook Live for the presentation. For a multitude of reasons, it made me want to vomit. Kicking and screaming, I was pressured into setting it up, and after the event was thankful for her resolve. Who says a leader is the inspiration one? For me personally, it is my team and their passions that inspire me.



It was a pleasure to meet and listen to the personal stories from Jane Griffiths, Global Head at Actelion, and Diana Cucos, Sr. VP Global Operations inVentiv. Hearing their honest accounts left an imprint with me that success is not doing things perfectly the first time, but sticking to your guns, being honest about flaws, and setting your sights to exactly what you want to achieve.

One of the presentations that really stuck with me from this year’s HBA was a remarkable and very personal story from Elin Haf Davies about her journey to becoming CEO of Aparito and rowing from the Canary Islands to Puerto Rico with her colleague and friend to raise money for Metabolic Research in Children.

Elin was a nurse in a hospital on the pediatric ward, going through a particularly dark period of her life when she decided she wanted to row across the Pacific Ocean and raise money for Charity.

Summarized simply; Two years later she spent 77 days at sea rowing day in day out to reach her goal. After which she joined the EMA as a Regulator for Pediatric trials, got her Ph.D. and founded Aparito. Just hugely impressive.

A really honest account which made me laugh and dropped my jaw in wonder. You can discover more about Elin here from an interview with WOW.

As one of the attendees, also a friend, said to me, “I will never do anything as impressive as row across the ocean for 77 days. How does she do that?”

We came to the conclusion that it was not about her doing things that were unbelievable, but that we are all on our own rollercoasters of life, and we are often super impressed with other but don’t recognize the huge accomplishments we achieve ourselves. It is great to hear, celebrate and recognize each thrilling ride.

We hope you enjoyed the HBA summit roundup? Join us next week as we release our whitepaper, Save Time & Money by Improving Your Candidate Experience.