Elyse Dickerson is CEO and Co-Founder of Eosera, Inc., a majority woman-owned biotech company committed to developing products that address under-served medical needs. Elyse actively mentors women who pursue careers in healthcare and technology, and is a strong advocate for gender equality and women in business. Are you looking for inspiration to leave the corporate world and set out on your own socially conscious endeavor? Elyse is sure to inspire you to take the first step.
My first job ever was… Working at the Omni theater as an usher when I was 16 years old.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I thought I could take all of the knowledge, skills and experience I had gained over the years and do something more creative with it, and also make a difference in the world.
My proudest accomplishment is… My kids and my family.
My boldest move to date was… Leaving a very comfortable, high-powered job and completely starting over. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I had ideas for what that would look like, but starting from scratch can be very intimidating.
I surprise people when I tell them… I am an Ironman triathlete!
My best advice to people hoping to advance their career is… No matter what path you choose to take in life, there will always be uncertainties. And with these uncertainties we have a choice. We can choose to let it stop us, or we can choose to let it excite us and consider it a challenge worth pursuing. Stop letting your fear to paralyze you.
Getting more women in tech is important because… Having a balanced and diversified team leads to better and more creative outcomes. Yes, we need more women in tech to balance out what is currently male-dominated. But we also need to diversify in other ways so that we can harness the collective creativity that comes from people of all cultures, genders, races and so forth.
“With these uncertainties we have a choice. We can choose to let it stop us, or we can choose to let it excite us and consider it a challenge worth pursuing. Stop letting your fear to paralyze you.”
We can support more woman entrepreneurs by… Investing in them. It is critical to invest in women entrepreneurs, but it is equally critical that women invest in other women. Instead of sitting back and relying on our male counterparts to do the investing and make those pivotal financial decisions, we should feel confident putting our money and decisions forward as well.
My best advice from a mentor was… Your work is not separate from your life. People talk about this “work-life balance”, but really it is one in the same. Your work is such a huge part of your life, and for many people where they spend the majority of their time. So, if you aren’t happy at work, you should feel empowered to make a change and find something that allows you to experience joy and fulfillment.
Mentorship is important because… No one can do it alone.
My biggest setback was… When I was a child I was diagnosed with dyslexia, and because of that, I had to participate in additional tutoring and alternate forms of education in order to stay up to speed with my peers. I always struggled with the question of “Am I smart enough?” and was told I would never make it in a four-year university program. But all of these years later, I have a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, which jump-started my career. From those early challenges, I learned that nothing is insurmountable and anything is achievable.
I overcame it by… Positive attitude and perseverance. I also had a strong support system of family and educators.
Work/life balance is… There really should not be a separation between the two; your work is part of your life. I have given this considerable thought as I’ve built my company and my team. I think it’s important for leadership to set a positive tone in the workplace and take a vested interest in the well-being of their employees’ lives. And most of the time, it is the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… No matter what song comes on the radio I seem to know the words. I honestly have no idea how I do!
I stay inspired by… I believe that there is always something to learn, no matter what. I am very intentional about staying connected to valuable podcasts, reading the news and listening to audio books. Not only do I want to continue learning and stay relevant in my field, but I also find great value in learning from other people’s experiences. I am also deeply inspired and motivated by my family and friends.
The future excites me because… There are endless possibilities of great things that can happen and I have no idea what is next. Many people are frightened by the unknown, and to an extent it is scary. However, I believe that framing the unknown as exciting instead of scary sets the tone for optimism and ambition which leads to success.
My next step is… I have been fortunate enough in the last 2 years to experience some success with starting Eosera. Although we still have a long road ahead to be where we want to be, I am thankful that I’ve been able to reach this point. As our company and team continues to grow, I hope we can be part of a bigger contribution to economic growth in our own city, nation and worldwide. Ensuring that Eosera remains a positive force for good in the world, and ultimately finds opportunities to give back to society and others, is a huge priority for me and for my team.