Sharon Callahan, chief executive officer of TBWA\WorldHealth and chief client officer at Omnicom Health Group, has been named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). The announcement was made last night at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference; the award will be conferred at the HBA’s 30th annual Woman of the Year event on May 9th in New York City.
The HBA Woman of the Year award honours a senior female executive who has made significant contributions to the business of healthcare and has worked to further the advancement and impact of women in the healthcare industry.
“We are so proud to see Sharon recognised for her remarkable career achievements and important contributions to diversity and inclusion,” said Ed Wise, chief executive officer of Omnicom Health Group. “Sharon’s leadership has been instrumental in making Omnicom Health Group a destination for the best talent in the industry, while driving work that has real business impact for our clients. She is a powerful force for change, extraordinary client counsellor and inspirational leader, and I have no doubt she will continue to drive great impact in all she does.”
“Sharon is an inspiration and a true disruptor," said Troy Ruhanen, President and CEO, TBWA\Worldwide. "She has a clear vision for the future of healthcare marketing and she pushes the boundaries of creativity and innovation to set a new standard of excellence. Few have done more to help women advance and make an impact. Her collaborative leadership style, business acumen and passion for this important sector of our business have led TBWA\WorldHealth to thrive. She's an example for all of us and we are enormously proud to see her recognised by the HBA.”
Callahan has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare marketing, across disciplines including consumer and professional advertising, medical education, clinical programs, publishing and digital. As the CEO of TBWA\WorldHealth she helps clients access Omnicom’s healthcare experts and develops innovative marketing approaches that maximise results for global brands.
Callahan has demonstrated a deep commitment to championing a more diverse and inclusive workplace. She is a founding board member of Omniwomen, which aims to increase the number of women in leadership positions in Omnicom. Within TBWA\WorldHealth, nearly 60 percent of senior leadership roles are held by women. She is a founding board member of OPEN Pride, a community for Omnicom’s LGBTQ employees and its allies. Outside of work, she serves as vice-chair for the Victory Fund, which seeks to increase the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government. She also sits on the boards of the Arthritis Foundation and Women Against Alzheimer’s.
“Sharon exemplifies what the Woman of the Year Award is all about,” said Laurie P. Cooke, president and CEO, HBA. “Not only has she achieved great professional success, she has been a leader in driving change in diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on all Sharon has achieved and celebrate her many contributions to the industry and beyond.”
Callahan’s professional achievements have been recognized with awards including the Highest Leaf Award by the Women’s Venture Fund (2014) and Medical Advertising News Person of the Year (2018). She currently sits on the boards of HBA New York/New Jersey and the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame and serves on the executive committee for the Coalition for Healthcare Communications and the Government Relations Committee for the 4A’s. She is also deeply committed to the HBA’s mission; she served as global board president in 1997 and was recognised as the STAR award recipient in 2006.
Prior to her current role, Callahan built her career at Omnicom as executive vice president and director of DAS Healthcare and CEO of LLNS (now TBWA\WorldHealth New York). Prior to Omnicom, Callahan was chief digital strategist at Grey Healthcare Group and president of interactive agency Summit Grey, born out of The Summit Group, a company she co-founded. She also held senior roles at Medsite.com and SCP Communications.