Failure is good. It fos­ters pro­fes­sional growth and can even­tu­ally lead to career suc­cess, according to three dis­tin­guished female leaders in the phar­ma­ceu­tical and biotech­nology indus­tries who spoke on Wednesday morning at the third event in Northeastern’s Women Who Inspire Speaker series.

You actu­ally have to spend time thinking about your fail­ures because we learn so much from them,” explained Dr. Joanna Horobin, chief med­ical officer at Verastem, a clinical-​​stage bio­phar­ma­ceu­tical com­pany. “I think if we gloss over them and think about moving on to the next project too quickly, there is a rich­ness of under­standing there that we leave behind.”

The Women Who Inspire series is an ini­tia­tive designed to pro­mote the advance­ment of women in engi­neering, tech­nology, sci­ence, and sus­tain­ability.  Wednesday’s event—attended by about 80 North­eastern stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff, as well as pro­fes­sionals from the biotech and phar­ma­ceu­tical fields—­took place in Cam­bridge at Biogen Idec, a biotech firm that man­u­fac­tures a drug for mul­tiple scle­rosis treat­ment and con­ducts research on res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases and con­ges­tive heart failure.

In addi­tion to Horobin, the panel fea­tured Dr. Rosana Kapeller, chief sci­en­tific officer at the biotech firm Nimbus Dis­covery, and Daphne Zohar, a 1992 North­eastern grad­uate with a bach­elor of sci­ence in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion who is a man­aging partner at PureTech Ven­tures, a ven­ture cap­ital firm. Karen Wein­traub, a health and sci­ence jour­nalist and former editor at The Boston Globe, mod­er­ated the 80-​​minute dis­cus­sion, which ranged from self-​​promotion in the work­place to the impor­tance of career men­tors, whom Zohar char­ac­ter­ized as “people who make you feel like you can do anything.”

When the dis­cus­sion turned to the experts’ take on self-​​promotion, Horobin said that women should forego self-​​aggrandizement in favor of pro­moting the quality of their work, adding that “pro­moting the out­come of what I have done is some­thing that I feel I can do.”

In her opening remarks, Alpna Seth, Biogen’s vice pres­i­dent of pro­gram lead­er­ship and man­age­ment, summed up the morning’s theme by praising women for con­sis­tently suc­ceeding in the face of adver­sity. “From Madame Curie to Mother Theresa and from Joan of Arc to Malala Yousafzai, women have proved time and time again their strength, their courage, their resilience and their intel­li­gence,” she said.