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Inspire. Empower. Rise

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 3, 2020
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2020

Written by: Leslie Bodell, TRUST President
Senior Vice President of OptumRx Client Services & Pharmacy Benefit Management Operations for Optum

Together, we rise! That phrase is more than just our theme for this year’s TRUST Forum on April 21. The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST exists as an inclusive network of members who support, inspire and offer insights to one another to advance women leaders in health care.

TRUST members are working together every day so we can all rise. We have more than 500 members who bring their leadership, experience and passion for health care to the table every day in order to empower themselves and others in the industry.

It is great to see so many women advancing in leadership positions in healthcare. While progress is being made, research shows we still have work to do. McKinsey’s study, Women in the Workplace 2019, takes a look at progress made as well as areas where more work needs to be done. So, while we can celebrate a 24% increase in representation of women at the C-suite level (across industries), there has been little to no improvement in representation of women at the manager level or for women of color. It is more difficult to rise or help lift others up when any rung on the ladder is broken.

In 2018, Accenture released their Getting to Equal findings that included results such as:

  • Women are four times more likely to rise in a company that values equality.
  • Women are more likely to rise where there are women in leadership.
  • Women are more likely to rise where there's a women's network.
  • Women, and men, are more likely to rise when comprehensive parental leave programs are incorporated vs. maternity leave only programs.

How can we help make more progress? Here are some ideas, both big and small. Serve as a formal or informal mentor. Join your organization’s diversity and inclusion program—or start one if it does not currently exist. Attend programs hosted by the TRUST and similar women’s organizations. Join a TRUST committee. Invite a colleague or friend to attend this year’s Forum to hear keynote speaker Julie Gilbert share her visionary leadership and show she helped transform Best Buy from a “guys” store to one where “women want to work and shop.” Network and be a connector for other women in the health care industry.

The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST has helped support women leaders in health care for 40 years and we remain deeply committed to doing so for as long as it takes. We’re here for your growth. We’re here for your career development. We’re here for your health care industry networking opportunities. We’re here to help you—and all of us—rise.

Leslie Bodell currently serves as TRUST President and is Senior Vice President of OptumRx Client Services & Pharmacy Benefit Management Operations for Optum. Bodell holds a MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a finance degree from Drake University.

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Women's Health Leadership TRUST

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