blog April 25, 2023

Celebrating Women in Research and Beyond

At Javara, we celebrate the strength, perseverance and adaptability of women as they contribute to the workplace and the world. We embrace International Women’s Day as a time to focus on these contributions and the integral role women played in our founding and continue to play in our leadership.

Our company was created by CEO and Board Chair Jennifer Byrne, Chief of Site Operations Amanda Wright, and General Counsel and Privacy Officer Linda McCarty. These women identified challenges in the clinical trial landscape and took the leap to build an organization that would provide a shared value opportunity for all stakeholders by bridging research to care.

Byrne says the company was born of frustration and hope. The frustration had come as it became increasingly difficult for healthcare consumers to get connected to clinical trials, despite consolidation and advances in technology. The hope was that a new business model could create a mechanism to seamlessly offer patients the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial through their trusted provider when the time was right.

Though the clinical research industry is historically male-dominated, these women have carved their path. “Navigating in a traditionally male arena requires you to constantly be mindful of your unique attributes,” says Byrne, “understanding when you are best equipped to be the leader or teacher, and when it is best to follow, as a student. In my experience, I’ve been surrounded by supportive male colleagues who have treated me and seen me as an equal.”

Quality leadership is a priority at Javara.

“A good leader leads by example,” says Byrne. “You demonstrate integrity in all you do, embrace personal accountability, and constantly seek to understand broader perspectives and be a good communicator as to the greater ‘why’.”

Byrne’s career has focused on enabling clinical trial participation at the point of care. Before cofounding Javara, she spent 10 years as CEO of PMG Research, an integrated network of clinical research sites. Before that, she served PMG Research for 17 years in Vice President of Operations and Site Manager roles.

Amanda Wright also came from PMG Research, where she held several leadership positions over her 19-year tenure. When speaking about leadership, she remarks on the necessity of taking calculated risks and the importance of conviction and purpose.

“From a very young age, I knew I wanted to work in healthcare and do my part to improve the lives of others,” she says. “So, reimagining clinical research as part of clinical care to encourage provider and patient participation in clinical trials was not just an opportunity — it was and is a responsibility.”

A central part of the leadership philosophy she shares with her cofounders is an intentional investment in employees through a lens of equity. She says this includes “embracing and supporting the role each employee plays in family, business, and community.”

Cofounder Linda McCarty trained as an attorney and spent the first 11 years of her career in private practice, working primarily with healthcare organizations and independent research sites. She watched as clinical research often became deprioritized in connection with the consolidation of healthcare organizations and systems. Providers who were engaged in clinical research often continued research activities post-consolidation apart from the healthcare organization now employing them, creating further separation between clinical research and clinical care.

“By 2013, I had transitioned from private practice to being the General Counsel at PMG Research. At the time, the writing was on the wall that the way clinical research had traditionally been conducted was probably not sustainable,” she says. “There was a need for new, innovative business models that could remove barriers to access and make clinical trials an integral part of clinical care.” When Javara was founded in 2018, “the focus was centered around just that,” she says. From a legal standpoint, this required an architecture that navigated the legal and regulatory frameworks of both healthcare and clinical research.

McCarty points out that all three founders have deep subject matter expertise and experience in the field of clinical research and healthcare, which helped them establish credibility in the early days of Javara. “I think the industry viewed us as experts first,” she says, “and women second.”

The leadership team recently added Colleen Tenan, MD, a board-certified internal medicine and obesity management physician, as Senior Medical Advisor.

“The leadership of Javara played a huge role in my desire to join the company,” said Tenan, “I was especially drawn to the fact that the female leaders of Javara have an extensive track record of excellence in clinical research. While at the company, I have also noticed they impart this excellence through a strong focus on mentorship.”

Today, our company honors the many successful women contributing to business and communities around the world. We also accept that individually, and as a society, we have the responsibility to be unrelenting in social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women.