I had the pleasure of attending the recent Team Women Annual Leadership Conference, and I was reminded of how many strong women-based organizations were formed, especially those based here in Minnesota, over the years. In addition to Team Women and our very own Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, organizations such as the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women’s Leadership Council, Women Business Leaders, Women in Networking, WomenVenture, Sister Spokesman, WeMN were created by women, for women who sought to grow professionally and personally, and connect with like-minded women.
Together, these organizations share a spirit of collaboration and support for one another. Their members often reap the benefits of friendships made among these sister organizations. In fact, I know Kathy Robideau, Women’s Leadership Council, and Katy Burke, Team Women, both attended last month’s TRUST Forum and have been strong supporters of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST.
Some may view these other organizations as competitors. I view them as fellow trailblazers focused on continual support of professional women. How we all do this looks a bit different for every organization; however, we’re united in creating vibrant member communities and nurturing leadership in its many forms.
For anyone new to the TRUST, we’re a professional network of women leaders in health care. Together, we create opportunities to network within the health care industry, enhance leadership skills, provide educational programs, and advance the careers of women in the field. And, this fall we will expand our reach into well-being.
The women who started the TRUST 40 years ago sought to network within health care and work together to break the glass ceiling in the field. Maureen Acosta was one of those founding TRUST members; she acknowledged how far the organization and women leaders in health care have come and was also thankful to see the work of the TRUST will continue on for decades. We have indeed come a long way thanks to trailblazers like our founding members, Jean Harris Award recipients, 21st Century Pinnacle Leader Award recipients, Board members through the years and countless others — women and men — who trusted in what the future could be.
Let us also acknowledge and give thanks to our sister organizations who similarly envision a present and a future where we can all rise together. Collaboration and support for all women is vital, and the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST looks forward to seeing the future we can achieve together.
Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, President of Medicare & Federal Employee Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN Council of Health Plans. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.