I volunteer for the United Force for Change because it will take more than 200 years for women to achieve gender parity. That means we have a lot of work to do, but we also have the passion and drive to get it done. I want my nieces to have every opportunity to be successful when they become women in the working world. No act is too big or too small to drive change for equal pay and equal opportunity. My role on the global board of directors is to help shape the current strategy for future results. I want to create an environment where women have the education, training, tools and experience to ascend into leadership roles within healthcare.
Volunteering has impacted my career by providing me with a platform to expand my network within the healthcare industry and make connections with other strong leaders supporting gender parity. I have a servant’s heart and enjoy connecting people with similar interests and values to one another. Volunteering also helps develop my business skills as a healthcare professional by staying ahead of trends that will impact how we deliver care now and in the future.
My favorite HBA event I ever attended was the launch of the HBA Charlotte affiliate in February of this year. Charlotte is a unique community that is filled with female professionals working for providers, payers, consultants and pharmaceutical companies. I remember moving here four years ago and questioning why an HBA chapter hadn’t launched in the Queen City. The launch event was one of the most successful launches in HBA history and we had members from across the Southeast attend and toast to the Charlotte affiliate. I had the honor of being one of the featured speakers alongside the fabulous Sharon Callahan, the 2019 HBA Woman of the Year. We talked about the importance of having confidence and supporting gender parity which was immensely enriching. More than 60 people attended, and it was a fantastic way to celebrate the HBA in Charlotte.
Volunteering has expanded my network by exposing me to leaders in different sectors of healthcare. Sometimes, the healthcare industry can be very siloed where professionals network within their sector and not across sectors. The uniqueness of the HBA is that many sectors of healthcare are represented, and membership is very inclusive. I have learned a great deal from leaders working in healthcare media, life science, pharmaceuticals, healthcare delivery and insurance. The HBA truly is a melting pot of all sectors of healthcare.
The most valuable lesson I learned from a fellow volunteer is to not be afraid to introduce yourself to someone new. Networking can be a scary endeavor for some and joining an organization of over 10,000 members can feel overwhelming. The great thing about the HBA is that although we are a very large global organization, your interaction can be as small or as large as you want it to be. Chapters and regions provide a great way to flex your volunteering muscles and start developing your networks. The first step is always the hardest, but once you introduce yourself to even one HBA member, the possibilities are endless.
My employer encourages me to volunteer for HBA because of how critical diversity in healthcare leadership is to provide the high-quality serves are communities need. Now more than ever, we need inclusive leadership to take risks and make the best decisions possible given the fast pace that healthcare is changing seemingly every day. Women, and specifically women of color, deserve a seat at the table to help influence and shape care delivery and growth. Without these voices, I fear that healthcare organizations will not be able to keep up with the pace of healthcare transformation and growth. The HBA serves as a catalyst and connector to helping women be ready to answer the call for leadership.
I applied for my current role with the HBA because I wanted to be bold and courageous as it relates to advancing gender parity. Board service is a great way to bring your time, talent and treasure to make a meaningful impact on the strategic direction of an organization (for-profit, non-profit or association). I believed strongly that my experience having served on several local and regional non-profit boards would augment the amazing leadership team already in place.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about joining or getting more involved with the HBA? My advice to someone thinking about joining or getting more involved with the HBA would be to have a bias towards action. The HBA is known for its culture of radical hospitality, and I felt that from day one. You will find a network of women who will inspire and motivate you to live your best life and be your best self. We are welcoming, engaging and above all things fiercely supportive of supporting women to ascend into leadership roles in healthcare. Join us!
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