|Diversity and Inclusion Committee|
Utah Healthcare Executives recently created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and I am excited to lead it.
You probably hear the word diversity on a near-daily basis. The word can evoke a variety of feelings. Regardless of what it means to you, ignoring efforts to increase diversity in our leadership and workforce will only be to our peril—and our patients.
That’s because organizations with diverse leaders and employees are more financially sound, have more engaged employees, are more innovative, and have less employee turnover. I don’t know a single leader that would not want those things--that’s the power of diversity and inclusion.
What does a Diversity and Inclusion Committee do?
Our committee’s goal is to create a pipeline of diverse leaders in healthcare. We will emphasize student outreach, mentorship, networking, and all those things that help us advance our careers. Our committee consists of six people: Amanda Forman, Gaby Garcia, Ariel Malan, Sri Koduri, Pimmie Lopez and me. They can help us understand the challenges that women, different ethnicities, young and seasoned, and LGBT workers face in their careers.
Why I Care About Diversity and Inclusion
Having led the Utah Healthcare Executives’ Diversity in Leadership program and being a white male, the first question I am asked is why I care about this.
I was born with a lot of advantages that I didn’t earn. Being raised in a stable family environment in what is considered the upper class, I was surrounded by people who supported higher education and working toward a successful career.
I eventually graduated from college and got a good job in the software industry. But several months later, our department was laid off and I was left unemployed during the Great Recession. It took three arduous years of underemployment and unemployment to get back to the same income I made before being laid off. I went through close to 70 job interviews, received several job offers, and yet with all the training I received at a respected business school, I struggled to find gainful employment for my family.
I thought to myself, if someone like me who was born with so many advantages struggled to find a good job, what is it like for someone without those advantages? Plenty of data says that it is more difficult
For me, diversity and inclusion is about giving people the same opportunities that I had and combining different ideas to come to better decisions. The business benefit for a diverse and inclusive workforce is considerable on its own.
Why is a more diverse and inclusive workforce important to you?