Cindy Eckert, CEO and founder of Sprout Pharmaceuticals and The Pink Ceiling, can help capture attention thanks to her forceful self-confidence (in this case that of a self-made billionaire) as well as her signature hot-pink attire. In the past 10 years alone, Eckert started and sold two businesses for a total of more than $1.5 billion. The first was Slate Pharmaceuticals, which redefined testosterone treatment for men, and then Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which developed the precedent-setting Addyi, the first FDA-approved drug for low sexual desire in women, frequently referred to as the "female Viagra." After selling Sprout in 2015, she successfully fought to get the drug back and relaunch it on her own terms.
"In order to be successful, you have to find opportunity in the overlooked," she says. "When a company has a homogenous way of thinking, it is missing something. I celebrate individualism and quirkiness."
Eckert's says she has always felt like an outlier, the unexpected in the room. "I now own that," she says. "I run to it while others run away from it."
Today, her work in The Pink Ceiling/Pinkubator is breaking barriers by investing in and mentoring women. "I never had a mentor, not a formal one at least. I had to find them to my left and right as I feel everybody has something to teach you," she offers. The Pink Ceiling aims to help female entrepreneurs achieve success faster than Eckert's own rise to the top. "When women get really rich, I know they pay it forward," she notes.
She is also a highly sought-after speaker, offering audiences insider knowledge and indispensable insight. Her favorite part of presenting is the question-and-answer portion. "Too few women get the opportunity to stand on that stage, and it's absolutely magical when others see themselves in my story," she says. "I feel that with the questions I get. It shows how attendees personalize my information and how they take it away."
Eckert also stresses the importance of female leadership. "Companies must ensure they have a diversity of thought at the table," she says. "I feel the world should be ultimately painted pink with female leaders."
Eckert can be booked with the help of the Las Vegas Speakers Bureau, headed by Jaki Baskow. For more information, contact Jaki at [email protected] or 702-547-5119.