Excellence in Leadership
Unlike a lot of Women Leaders in Consulting, Eileen Cov- eney ended up in consulting
by design. She attended Harvard Busi-
ness School to expand her knowledge
beyond the financial services sector
that she had worked in post-college.
“I perceived consulting to be the best
route to keep my learning going—and
to pay off my student loans,” she says.
Today, Coveney is a Senior Partner
and Managing Director in L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Life Sciences practice.
She is also a member of L.E.K.’s Global
Leadership Team and an active leader of
the firm’s Women’s Network.
Coveney has over 25 years of experience providing strategic advice to
leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Key areas of expertise
include corporate strategy, franchise
strategy, product opportunity assessment and business development strategy. Coveney’s therapeutic area experience is comprehensive, with particular
expertise in orphan drugs, oncology,
gastrointestinal conditions, autoimmune
diseases, women’s health, men’s health,
infectious disease and vaccines.
“I truly enjoy helping clients—to
bring the fact-base and our experiential
perspectives to drive the best outcomes
and help make clients successful,” she
says. “I have worked for many really im-
pressive clients and being ‘at the table’
and providing perspectives for critical
strategic decisions is very rewarding.”
Second, she enjoys seeing talented
and ambitious people who have joined
the firm learn, grow and become leaders.
So, what advice would she give to a
female consultant beginning her career?
Coveney says she summarizes her guidance in what she calls her 4Cs.
“Competence—work hard and excel
in all that you do; confidence—be confi-
dent in your abilities, views, and perspec-
tives, and express your views purpose-
fully and confidently; cognizance—be
aware of your surroundings, clients,
teams, etc., and use this self-awareness to
guide your actions and interactions,” she
says. “And finally, connectivity—con-
sciously build your network, internally at
the firm and externally in your industry
segment, and plan out who you want to
know and who you want to know you.”
Then there’s this advice from Thom-
as Edison that she saw on a client’s
wall—Inspiration without action is hal-
lucination. “It spoke to me about pur-
poseful action,” she says. “Great ideas
are nothing if you cannot take action.”
And take action is what she did. Af-
ter 20 years at L.E.K. U.S. Coveney
moved to Europe for three years to help
build out the firm’s Life Sciences prac-
tice there. “It was a critical time for our
firm’s business in Europe, and I was
pleased to make a really important con-
tribution,” she says. “I am thankful for
that challenge. And my results!
What does winning
the Women Leaders in
Consulting award mean
COVENEY: “The recognition is really appreciated. As a consulting
professional, my philosophy is to be the “coach behind the scenes.”
So, I do not expect to be singled out. This award is a huge honor—I am
grateful and proud to be named a Woman Leader in Consulting. And I
am very proud to have my husband Bob with me at the awards dinner,
as well as my colleagues from L.E.K. who make the job so rewarding.”