DiversityNursing Blog

Healthcare Organizations Commitment To Improving Diversity

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 25, 2021 @ 01:50 PM

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The tragic events of the past year has brought an increased awareness to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a result, healthcare organizations are hiring Chief Diversity Officers (CDO’s), implementing initiatives, providing educational programs, and using new recruitment strategies to increase diversity in medicine.

Increasing diversity in healthcare organizations benefits both the healthcare provider and the patient populations they serve.

To increase diversity and lower racial healthcare disparities, many hospitals and health systems are looking to their CDO for guidance moving forward.

Last year, CDO hires grew by 84%, making it the fastest growing C-suite title, according to LinkedIn.

Some health systems are going beyond hiring a CDO and are creating entire teams or councils to implement and foster best practices. 

Northwell Health formed the Emerging Leaders Diversity & Inclusion Council which is responsible for analyzing current conditions within the health system while seeking to implement best practices in 3 key areas:

• Onboarding
• Mentoring
• Succession Planning

Englewood Health assembled a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council consisting of 12 team members across all departments and leadership levels.  

Warren Geller, President and CEO of Englewood Health said, “Our country’s history of racism and current inequalities have impacted every aspect of life and, most importantly, our health and well-being. With the establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council we are committing to doing more and doing better for the communities we serve.”

More hospitals are providing educational resources and training programs for their staff members.

At Ochsner Health in Louisiana, they’ve rolled out training to address implicit bias across the organization. Melissa Love, VP of Professional Staff Services and The Office of Professional Well-Being said, “People are really curious. I’m seeing people be very surprised by their lack of knowledge, even those that think they’re very knowledgeable.” 

Hospitals are also participating in evaluation programs to help improve their DEI efforts. 

The HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) evaluates healthcare facilities nationwide based on non-discrimination & staff training, LGBTQ patient services & support, employee benefits & policies, and LGBTQ patient & community engagement. 

Last year, a record 765 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI survey. These organizations recognize the importance of implementing LGBTQ-inclusive practices alongside their foundational non-discrimination policies.

When it comes to diversifying the hiring process, Daniel Benavides, Manager of Talent Acquisition at CHG Healthcare, suggests hospitals increase the number of people who select candidates. 

Benavides noticed only one or two people were filtering candidates for interviews. He determined that having a larger mix of individuals looking at applications would result in a greater diversity — and higher quality — of selected candidates.

It’s critical healthcare organizations improve diversity within their staff to reduce healthcare disparities. They must ensure ALL people are equally represented. 

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diversity recruitment, healthcare organizations, workplace diversity, hiring diverse workforce, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, DEI

Ageism in Healthcare

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Mar 29, 2021 @ 11:13 AM

ageismAge discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age, defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

Ageism in the Workplace

According to a 2018 AARP survey, about 3 in 5 older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Also 76% of these older workers see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job.

A diverse workplace is fundamental in providing the best patient care possible. But age is usually left out of an organization's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy.

Patients feel more comfortable talking with a Nurse who understands and can relate to them and their issues. Nurses who understand what ageing patients are going through can provide better care. 

Some Nurses over the age of 40 experience ageism from employers, fellow staff members, and even patients. Examples of this type of ageism include:

Physical Strength - There is a perception older Nurses aren't physically strong enough to handle certain responsibilities such as restraining a combative patient or assisting someone into a bed or wheelchair.

Technology - Another misconception is older Nurses can't keep up with the changing technologies and medications.

Pay - An article by Arkansas State University discusses salary-based ageism in Nursing saying, "As Nurses accumulate experience, they also accumulate pay increases. As a result, employers sometimes discriminate against more experienced Nurses by hiring or promoting younger, less experienced, and therefore, less expensive Nurses."

This type of stereotyping and discrimination often leads to poor morale, job dissatisfaction, burnout and early retirement.

How You Can Reduce Ageism at Work

To combat ageism in healthcare organizations, there should be DEI policies that include a focus on age.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) the EEOC recommends organizations follow these strategies:

  • Assess your organization's culture, practices or policies that may reveal outdated assumptions about older workers. The Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and AARP partnered to develop an assessment tool.
  • Examine your recruitment practices. Does your website include photos of an age-diverse workforce? Do your job applications ask for age-related information such as date of birth or when a person graduated? Is your interview panel age-diverse? Train recruiters and interviewers to avoid ageist assumptions.
  • Include age as part of your diversity and inclusion programs and efforts. Offer learning and development, including anti-bias training and courses.
  • Foster a multi-generational culture that recognizes ability regardless of age and rejects age stereotypes, just as it would reject stereotypes involving race, disability, national origin, religion or sex.

Ageism in Your Patient Population

Ageist stereotypes and discrimination are also barriers to health equality for this patient population.

An article from Lippincott Nursing Center states, Older adults represent 13% of the total population in the United States, but account for over 40% of U.S. hospitalizations.

Ageism can negatively affect the care older adults receive. It's often healthcare providers attribute signs and symptoms of illness to normal aging, missing important indicators that need to be addressed.

A lot of ageist behaviors may not be intentional and will take conscious efforts to identify and change. For example, talking slowly and loudly, or assuming someone can’t comprehend what you are telling them, is common behavior around older patients and is considered ageism.

How You Can Reduce Ageist Attitudes Toward Patients

The Alliance for Aging Research warned "that unless ageist attitudes are recognized and rooted out of our healthcare system, the next generation of Americans under Medicare, the largest generation in U.S. history, will likely suffer inadequate care."

The Alliance released recommendations to address the problem of ageism:

  • More training and education for healthcare professionals in the field of geriatrics.
  • Greater inclusion of older Americans in clinical trials.
  • Utilization of appropriate screening and preventive measures for older Americans.
  • Empowerment and education of older patients.

The older patient population deserves the same quality care and attention as younger patients. Organizations must acknowledge ageism as an obstacle in providing the best care possible and take action to make healthcare more equitable and inclusive.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, age discrimination in healthcare, DEI, ageism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Hospital CEOs Signing Action Pledge For Diversity And Inclusion

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Mar 19, 2021 @ 10:04 AM

CEOpledgeThe CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

CEOs at top major companies from around the world are signing this action pledge to support more inclusive workplaces.

This pledge shows the commitment and actions leaders will take to provide resources and strategies for an inclusive environment.

Health systems joining the pledge are taking a step towards positive change. A diverse and inclusive workforce helps the community and inspires innovation and creativity.

According to the CEO Action website, By 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the US.

Click here to view the list of healthcare CEO's who have signed the pledge so far.

Warren Geller, President and CEO of Englewood Health pledged to provide equal access to vaccines, helping to mitigate risk factors for those most vulnerable to COVID-19; enhancing and expanding training programs for new and current employees, focused on diversity and inclusion; and to continue on the path to diminishing healthcare disparities with the support of the Diversity and Inclusion Education Council (DIEC).

Hackensack Meridian Health CEO, Robert C. Garrett signed the pledge and said, "New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation and we are deeply committed to ensuring that there is equality and opportunity for all in our hospitals and care locations. The network also has a robust and comprehensive strategy to eliminate unacceptable outcomes based on race and ethnicity, a challenge for our entire nation.''

CEO Stephen J. Ubl of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) signed the pledge and included four goals that PhRMA is committed to working toward.

  1. We will continue to make our workplace a trusting place to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion. 
  2. We will expand unconscious bias education.
  3. We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices.
  4. We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors.

So far, nearly 2,000 CEOs and Presidents have made the pledge and it is encouraging to see this number grow. Click here to view the pledge.

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Topics: ceo, Diversity and Inclusion, leadership diversity, diverse workplace culture, workplace diversity, hospital CEO, action pledge, diversity and inclusion pledge, diversity and inclusion in the workplace

The Growing Role of Chief Diversity Officer

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 16, 2021 @ 12:34 PM

CDOLast year, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) hires grew by 84%, making it the fastest growing C-suite title, according to LinkedIn.

There has been a national wave of concern about racial inequities, especially in healthcare, with the arrival of the COVID pandemic.

Many healthcare organizations are increasing their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. Leaders are addressing racial health disparities and finding ways to improve patient care for all. Part of their efforts include establishing a Chief Diversity Officer role.

Winifred King is Cook Children’s first ever Chief Diversity Officer. King said, “It is hard to put into words what this decision and investment means to people of color and anyone who has ever felt different or excluded. For all of us who may have experienced inequities and mistreatment in our lifetimes, it is comforting to be a part of an organization that accepts our differences, our failures, and is willing to look inward and truly examine what is at the heart of our culture.”

“COVID-19 is amplifying health disparities in communities of color,” said Quita Highsmith, the Chief Diversity Officer of biotech company, Genentech. “It is now time for us to stop tiptoeing around it and start thinking about what we are going to do.”

CDOs are responsible for addressing these healthcare disparities. They are developing strategies to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equitable cultures throughout their organization.

Education and awareness are playing a key role in improving health outcomes for diverse communities. The CDO coordinates efforts internally to provide staff with resources and courses, such as cultural competence training as well as finding ways externally to work with the community they serve.

In addition, the CDO helps to create recruitment programs that ensures their DEI message is reaching diverse candidates. As a member of the C-suite, the CDO can communicate to all leaders that diversity recruitment, for all position levels, should be a priority.

Studies suggest diversity in healthcare leadership enhances quality of care, quality of life in the workplace, community relations, and the ability to affect community health status.

The CDO helps to define, educate, and communicate the hospital/health system’s culture and DEI message to its staff, patient population and community.

Joseph Hill, was the first Chief Diversity Officer at Jefferson Health. He requested they establish focus groups with patients to better understand their expectations and view of the system. With the information provided by the focus groups, they found the areas that needed improvements.

HCA Healthcare created the BRAVE Conversations program, an ‘outside the box’ platform designed to facilitate interactive, inclusive, innovative and safe ways for employees to share their thoughts on issues that may be difficult to discuss.

It is imperative that leadership is committed to their DEI mission. Without it, the CDO cannot wave a magic wand and transform an entire organization overnight. It takes commitment, communication both internally and externally, resources, time, and effort from all areas of the health system.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, CDO, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diversity in healthcare, health disparities, diversity recruitment, racial health disparities

Recruiting a More Diverse Workforce: It’s About Telling a Story and Backing It Up with Actions

Posted by Pat Magrath

Thu, Jan 28, 2021 @ 02:39 PM

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Pat Magrath, National Sales Director, DiversityNursing.com pmagrath@diversitynursing.com

Our country and the world is experiencing a huge awakening and changing attitude toward bias and racism and it is about time! It shouldn’t have taken these recent tragic events to bring about this ground swell of emotion and passion for change, but here we are.

It is time to channel this passion to create positive and lasting new initiatives in our society. A big part of this change falls to employers to review what they say about their organization, how they hire new employees, and how they treat and communicate with their existing staff, patients and visitors. Now, more than ever, your recruitment communications need to reflect an honest and thoughtful narrative about your organizational commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Diversity Recruitment means reaching out to ALL diverse communities including people from various racial/ethnic backgrounds, ages, gender identities, religions, education levels, national origins, sexual orientations, veteran status, marital status, disabilities, and physical characteristics. However, it is much more than just words on paper or a clever equal opportunity line. It is about telling a story and demonstrating through your actions why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are important.

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Diversity Recruiting Steps & Strategy

Get Started

Diversity Recruiting is about your core company beliefs, employment strategies and your ability to look at the big picture when it comes to expanding the diversity within your employee population. Look at the patients your organization serves. What is the population makeup of your community? Do your employees reflect your patient population? Do they understand how culture and family structures can impact healthcare decisions? Do they understand nuances in language? Have they been taught how different religious backgrounds impact how and when people seek care? If not, you are probably losing market share or certainly will in the near future.

Patients want and often need to be taken care of by someone who can look at much more than just physical or emotional symptoms. A more diverse employee population leads to the collaboration of different cultures, ideas, and perspectives and is an organizational asset that brings forth greater creativity and innovation in your workplace.

Define Your Company Culture

valuesWe often hear the term “recruitment brand”, but can you honestly say you have one that reflects Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Your “recruitment brand” is NOT what you aspire to be. It is who you are NOW and a big part of that is how others experience or perceive your organization.

Can you articulate and explain your company culture, beliefs and perception in the community? Do you have a clear, inclusive mission statement? If not, start working on it now. Who are you as an employer? Would a diverse candidate feel comfortable working there?

Put together a team of internal people from various backgrounds to get their input and help you define and promote your company culture. Once you’ve defined it, believe it, commit to it and act upon it. It should be a comprehensive effort from the top down.

Embrace It

What do the leaders of your organization say and do about your DEI initiative? It is imperative your senior leadership is committed to your DEI mission. If they don’t stand behind it, nothing will change. People pay attention to what you say AND what you do. There are many ways to monitor how an organization delivers on its promises. If your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts don’t match up with what you say, then you have lost credibility and it will be very difficult to build it back.

Get Your Message Out There – How and Where You Reach People

megaphoneAssess what you’re currently doing. What’s working and what isn’t? Where can you improve? What’s your budget? What are your competitors doing? Once you’ve answered these questions, you must develop a strategy about how and where you’re going to consistently communicate your message through ALL of your internal and external channels including…

  • Your Website – particularly your Career Pages
  • Community Involvement – get out into your community and spread your DEI message. Your community comprises your patients, visitors and employees.
  • Signage throughout your buildings
  • All Recruitment Communications should outline your DEI message including:
- Career Pages
- Electronic Communications including radio, TV, social media, etc
- Print Communications
- Employee Referral Programs
- Collateral & Conference materials – brochures, giveaways, etc
- Business Cards
- Job Postings

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Climbing the Career Ladder & Diversity

In addition to recruiting diverse employees, mentoring and promoting them is equally important to your DEI commitment. You not only retain committed employees as you promote them, but your staff sees what you’re doing and is encouraged.

Dr. Stefanie Johnson is a professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, an expert in the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) space, and the author of the recent Wall Street Journal bestseller, Inclusify. As an executive coach and consultant to large corporations on the development and succession of leaders, Dr. Johnson explains the "employee lifecycle" from recruiting to executive advancement. This lifecycle starts with the hiring of talent at companies, continues onto the engagement and development of them through teams, and then moves to the potential promotion of diverse employees into higher leadership roles. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niharchhaya/2020/06/29/why-diversity-and-inclusion-efforts-fail-to-deliver-and-how-to-change-that/#636ed82457be

Following these steps will help you achieve an appropriate Diversity Recruiting strategy. Remember, it is imperative that your senior leadership is on board and committed. Your employees, patients and community will be watching.

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Topics: diversity in nursing, recruitment, recruiting, Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in healthcare, diversity recruitment, nurse recruitment, workplace diversity, diversity nursing, hiring diverse candidates, hiring diverse workforce

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 21, 2020 @ 03:47 PM

belonging

Our healthcare system must work hard to increase diversity within their workforce and create an inclusive environment. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategies are necessary for health systems to provide the best care possible to an evolving population.

A sense of Belonging is equally as important. Just because an employee is working in an organization, it doesn't necessarily mean they feel they belong there.

The feeling of belonging is a fundamental human need. It is an extremely powerful force. Without it, your D&I strategy could fail.

The term Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) was created by Pat Wadors. She said, "D&I may capture your head, but belonging captures your heart.”

“When someone is different and insecure and they get to be authentic and are welcomed in a team, we can unlock their super powers and bring out the best—not only in that person, but the team and, therefore, the product, the service, the company, the world,” says Wadors.

Covering or masking is when someone tries to fit in with the dominant culture and downplay who they really are. Research from a Deloitte study of more than 3,000 people found that 61% of people cover at work, even more so if they are Black (79%) or LGBTQ+ (83%).

Neuroscience researchers have found that exclusion lights up the same regions of the brain as physical pain. “Being excluded is painful because it threatens fundamental human needs, such as belonging and self-esteem,” says Dr. Kipling Williams of Purdue University.

When someone feels excluded over a long period of time, and every day they have to return to an environment where they feel like they do not belong, they'll end up leaving.

Dr. Christine Cox of New York University’s Langone School of Medicine has identified six areas that are enhanced by inclusion and worsened by exclusion: intelligent thought and reasoning, self-care and self-improvement, prosocial behavior, self-regulation, a sense of purpose, and well-being. Each of these items represents real financial gains or losses for teams and organizations.

According to Wadors, in order to create a culture of belonging, teams and managers should reflect on three questions:

  1. How does your organization celebrate differences?
  2. As an employee, do you feel safe if you make a mistake?
  3. Does someone at work care about you?

A Forbes article mentions, another way that a sense of belonging can be nurtured is by creating a stronger sense of community.  A sense of community can be nurtured by regular interactions and collaboration. We tend to stereotype people less and are less fearful of difference when we are more familiar with them or spend more time with them.

But most importantly, there must be trust. Employees should have trust in the company's mission, in the leadership's vision and in their goals. Once every employee feels that they belong in the organization, this will lead to a more positive and inclusive workplace.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in healthcare, diversity inclusion and belonging

Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare with CLAS

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Jun 23, 2020 @ 10:32 AM

CLASlogo1

Health systems are working to increase the Diversity of their leadership team, board and staff. Each hospital’s workforce should represent the diverse populations of the community they serve. Many hospital teams are building a culture of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) to better engage all employees and provide high-quality, equitable care for all patients.

Part of building a culture that is mindful of D&I is being aware of the National CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Standards. As stated in the case for National CLAS Standards “Culturally and linguistically appropriate services are increasingly recognized as effective in improving the quality of care and services. By providing a structure to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services, the National CLAS Standards will improve an organization’s ability to address health care disparities.”

A Diversity Best Practice report says, Minorities continue to experience discrimination in healthcare and have worse health outcomes than white individuals. Cultural differences, language barriers, and high rates of unemployment and poverty have created major disparities in health status and health outcomes for minorities and other marginalized groups. Lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce, poor provider-to-patient communication, and health literacy challenges further contribute to the problem. 

The National (CLAS) Standards is a great strategy intended to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate healthcare disparities, by providing a set of 15 action steps for healthcare organizations to implement.

The National CLAS Standards are as follows:

Principal Standard

  1. Provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs.

Governance, Leadership and Workforce

  1. Advance and sustain organizational governance and leadership that promotes CLAS and health equity through policy, practices, and allocated resources.
  2. Recruit, promote, and support a culturally and linguistically diverse governance, leadership, and workforce that are responsive to the population in the service area.
  3. Educate and train governance, leadership, and workforce in culturally and linguistically appropriate policies and practices on an ongoing basis.

Communication and Language Assistance

  1. Offer language assistance to individuals who have limited English proficiency and/or other communication needs, at no cost to them, to facilitate timely access to all health care and services.
  2. Inform all individuals of the availability of language assistance services clearly and in their preferred language, verbally and in writing.
  3. Ensure the competence of individuals providing language assistance, recognizing that the use of untrained individuals and/or minors as interpreters should be avoided.
  4. Provide easy-to-understand print and multimedia materials and signage in the languages commonly used by the populations in the service area.

Engagement, Continuous Improvement, and Accountability

  1. Establish culturally and linguistically appropriate goals, policies, and management accountability, and infuse them throughout the organization's planning and operations.
  2. Conduct ongoing assessments of the organization's CLAS-related activities and integrate CLAS-related measures into measurement and continuous quality improvement activities.
  3. Collect and maintain accurate and reliable demographic data to monitor and evaluate the impact of CLAS on health equity and outcomes and to inform service delivery.
  4. Conduct regular assessments of community health assets and needs and use the results to plan and implement services that respond to the cultural and linguistic diversity of populations in the service area.
  5. Partner with the community to design, implement, and evaluate policies, practices, and services to ensure cultural and linguistic appropriateness.
  6. Create conflict and grievance resolution processes that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to identify, prevent, and resolve conflicts or complaints.
  7. Communicate the organization's progress in implementing and sustaining CLAS to all stakeholders, constituents, and the general public.

Topics: CLAS, Diversity and Inclusion, Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services

Increasing Diversity In Leadership Roles

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 01, 2019 @ 10:26 AM

nursefolderAccording to Diversity Best Practices, from 2015 to 2030, the US population is projected to grow by 12 percent, from about 321 million to 359 million. Most of that growth will come from minority and immigrant populations.

In order to better serve this growing population there needs to be more diverse healthcare professionals in leadership roles that mirror a culturally competent workforce. 

Modern Healthcare covered the industry’s lack of diversity in the C-suite mentioning, "Only 14% of hospital board members and 9% of CEOs are minorities, according to the most recent study by the American Hospital Association's Institute for Diversity and Health Equity—the same percentages as in 2013."

Yvonne Wesley, PhD, RN, FAAN and M. Jane Fitzsimmons, MSN, RN worked together to better understand the barriers diverse Nursing leaders faced in progressing their careers into higher leadership roles.

They created a survey that asked, "What do you perceive as the top three barriers for diversity Nurse leaders in advancing their careers to the executive level?" 

The answers were:

  • Lack of equal access to inclusion.
  • Lack of mentorship and sponsorship.
  • Lack of opportunities for leader experiences.

Here are some ways to promote diversity in healthcare leadership.

In order to destroy these barriers, leaders of all backgrounds and ethnicities must first understand and accept that these barriers do exist. Those leaders can take that knowledge and their own personal cultural insights and use them to effectively address disparities within their own communities.

Mentoring programs are extremely important and should be implemented ASAP. As in any business, Nurses need leaders to help guide and inspire them. Representation of diverse Nurses in leadership positions creates positive influence and confidence in other Nurses looking to achieve leadership goals in the future.

Recruiting diverse candidates at every level increases representation in management, but also develops a diverse workforce and future pool of qualified candidates.

Utilize pro-diversity initiatives to reduce social isolation. Hire a Diversity & Inclusion Officer and appoint a diversity committee. There should be a diversity action plan, diversity training, social gatherings, and resource groups.

In healthcare, trust and representation matters. More diversity in healthcare leadership roles will create better patient outcomes.


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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, diversity in healthcare, workplace diversity, healthcare leadership, diversity in leadership roles

Some Tips for A Successful Diversity And Inclusion Program

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

diversityandinclusion Organizations put a lot of effort into their Diversity and Inclusion programs and yet few of these efforts yield results. What are some of the reasons why D&I programs fail?

Your Diversity and Inclusion programs should be a consistent part of your organization’s culture. It should not be implemented as a response to an issue because it might appear disingenuous. These programs should be used throughout all departments to show an overall belief and commitment that D&I is important to everyone. 

Do not make the programs mandatory because when individuals feel like they don’t have a choice, this can lead to resistance and opposition to D&I programs.

Your leadership must fully support D&I for it to work well. Leadership must be committed to making D&I part of your mission, values and beliefs. It is important they understand D&I is beneficial in acquiring and retaining talent, offering culturally competent patient care, building employee engagement, and improving business performance. Your programs should always be evolving. If it's outdated, it will be ineffective. 

Employees might believe that actual changes won't be made. So it is important to lead by example and utilize what these programs teach. There should be visible and committed role models on the leadership team.

Get your employees who are closely affected by Diversity and Inclusion involved with the design and assessment of the programs to ensure they will work and take hold. Remember, you want ideas and collaboration from employees who represent different cultures, religions, ages, educational backgrounds, etc. The programs must be custom tailored to each company, using its specific culture and goals to determine the best course of action.

According to DeEtta Jones, a diversity and inclusion strategy consultant "when developing an inclusion plan, organizations should keep two goals in mind.  Any inclusion plan should be attainable and measurable.  A lofty plan with goals that can never be achieved ruins employee morale and reinforces the idea that management is not willing to make meaningful changes.  Without measurable goals, leaders and organizations cannot be held accountable for implementing the plan.  Without accountability, any plan will be ineffective.  Good inclusion plans are measurable and achievable. "

Your organization should be an inclusive environment where all employees feel comfortable and open enough to discuss and make real changes. In order to achieve this environment, we all must be aware of biases.

Kristen Pressner said in a Forbes article, "We all have biases, and it’s important to acknowledge them so behavioral tendencies can be headed off at the pass. Make a safe place for everyone to look in their full-length mirror and recognize their own biases so they can work on eliminating them. This can be as holistic as hosting training and workshops, and as personal as articulating and owning them one on one. Articulate how shifting the behavior will lead to better results. Recognizing one’s own biases is a great level set; everyone has them and can support each other in breaking them."

In a different Forbes article, Cat Graham recommends "acknowledging and recognizing great ideas, wherever they come from. Celebrate and communicate with your employees how diversity and inclusion have impacted creativity, engagement and results. Make room for different religious celebrations, and encourage staff to share their cultural heritage with others. Actively create groups that support and connect employees through their shared backgrounds."

The Diversity and Inclusion process can be difficult to perfect, but it is important to make it a major part of your organization's mission. If you have any helpful tips or experiences you’d like to share, please do so here.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity and inclusion programs

Growing Leadership Diversity in Healthcare Benefits Everyone

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 26, 2019 @ 11:53 AM

20285688_wideIllness is blind to race, gender and ethnic origins. Since you are in the business of caring for others, it's critically important to ensure that clinicians, executives and even members of the governing boards, accurately represent the communities you serve. 

There is room for considerable improvement in leadership diversity in healthcare. According to AMN Healthcare, A survey by American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management found that while minorities represented 32% of patients in hospitals, they comprised only 14% of hospital board members, 11% of executive leadership, and 19% of mid-level and first-level managers. On gender, despite a healthcare workforce that is 80% female, women occupy approximately 25% of hospital CEO positions. Representation by women of color is in the single digits.

There are clear benefits of promoting diversity in the C-suite and encouraging stronger representation from groups that have long been underrepresented in executive roles. Not only do patients benefit from having advocates who represent the full spectrum of the community, but it also makes good business sense. 

Having a variety of opinions and perspectives among top leadership ranks leads to deeper discussions, more thoughtful and intentional strategies, and better decision-making. That, in turn, improves operational performance.

Diversity can be a competitive advance in recruiting, hiring, and retaining quality Nurses, Physicians and other healthcare professionals, including leaders. Like patient engagement, the engagement of team members and leaders is crucial to recruitment and retention, so diversity should be an important consideration to make all feel welcome.

Healthcare systems are aware that diversity among staff, leadership and board members is important to improving patient medical outcomes and reducing health disparities. Diversity also improves the bottom line. Companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform peers on profitability, according to McKinsey & Co.

Healthcare organizations should pursue diversity in their leadership and workforce to improve healthcare outcomes and their bottom line. 

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, workplace diversity, healthcare leadership

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