I was thrilled when I read that Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors. Someday women reaching the highest levels and executive posts of major corporations won’t command as much attention because it will be completely commonplace for women to take the helm at major organizations. Someday, women will achieve equal rank, equal pay, and equal representation in both the labor force and the leadership force. Until then, we have our work cut out for ourselves.
To advance our place as women leaders, we must join the future-shaping conversations, we must become relevant, we must advocate for women at every step along their career track, and we must empower women to flourish and have impact in whatever career path or position they choose.
At HBA, our mission is to further the advancement and engagement of women in healthcare worldwide. The way we will fulfill this is to matter and be influential in the key arenas and decision making forums where we can move the needle to address the disparity of women as 73% of the labor force but only 4% of the leadership force1.
During my year as president in 2014 we will build upon the strong foundation laid out during 2012 and 2013 by Buket Grau and Terri Pascarelli, respectively. In these years, we set out our objectives to become portable—able to move with our constituents over time, geography and career path; to become a trusted partner and advisor to our constituents and an authority on women’s leadership needs in the areas of skill building, networking, recognition and mentoring.
The year, 2014 will be a year to ground ourselves in our mission and prepare ourselves for exponential growth. Growth will create recognition and an opportunity for raising our public persona and awareness. By maintaining continuity between 2013 and 2014, we expect completion of our six strategic initiatives which will bring us (1) refreshed branding and positioning for the HBA to capitalize on new market segments and better describe our value proposition to our key stakeholders; (2) a re-investment in our mentoring programs and virtual program offerings to address career advancement; (3) a new business development approach for attracting and engaging new corporate partners that includes revenue and cost share with our chapters and simultaneously scale and operate as one HBA; (4) improved technology for event and membership management; (5) successful flagship events with a clear future state; and (6) enhancements to our membership model for explosive growth in the coming years.
Critical to our current and future plans and fulfillment of our expectations for 2014, as outlined above, is a clear and achievable operating plan. To support our efforts, we have developed a one page summary of our financial goals and critical deliverables. To help our leadership team and staff manage toward these expectations, we have developed several milestone trackers representing all of our key areas of focus which we will review quarterly to assess our progress as an association board and management team. Using new management tools and a clear set of financial goals and operational deliverables, we have clear sightlines to what success in 2014 will look like and what will position us for growth and influence in the immediate years to come.
With greater tour de force behind us and our inspiring HBA esprit de corps in front of us, we can start to move the needle on our industry influence and impact.
I look forward to serving as the HBA president in 2014.
1. as measured by women holding the CEO role in healthcare companies (medical and health service managers) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in July 2012.