A commitment that counts: How health systems are measuring workforce diversity

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a closer spotlight on diversity, equity and inclusion, and the need to address these issues in healthcare. Considering this, hospitals and health systems are implementing initiatives to improve diversity in workforce practices. 

Below, healthcare leaders share how their organizations are measurably improving diversity.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited lightly for clarity and style. 

B. Lee Green, PhD. Vice President of Diversity, Public Relations and Strategic Communications at Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Fla.): One key step Moffitt is taking is to engage all leaders in the work of diversity, equity and inclusion. Rather than this work being owned solely by our DEI team, we are focusing on a strategy of shared responsibility. We call this shared responsibility enterprise equity.   

This will be measured by the addition of equity and inclusion to the overall institutional scorecard. This keeps equity and inclusion front and center.  

Lisette Martinez. Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia): We set an enterprise goal at Jefferson Health to reach 30 percent underrepresented minority leadership by 2025. This goal, approved with support from our board, is an incredible commitment from Jefferson.

We measure this goal at each Jefferson Health division, as well as Thomas Jefferson University. A quarterly report is issued to all presidents to track their progress in meeting this goal. In addition, we initiated a recruitment diversity strategy, developed by the office of diversity and inclusion in collaboration with the human resources department. It is a streamlined and collaborative process on how we ensure access to our workforce.

Kevin Myatt. Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System: Yale New Haven Health System has been effective in developing a solid core of women managers across our organization.  However, the percentage of women of color drops at the next level — director — which is the initial executive leadership role. To address this, our executive leadership team is committed to increasing the numbers of people of color in director roles with a focus on increasing the number of women of color in these roles.

Our progress will be monitored by the executive leadership team and reviewed twice annually as part of our talent review process. 

Angela Talton. Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at City of Hope (Duarte, Calif.): We are taking a strategic and holistic approach to infuse diversity, equity and inclusion into our everyday operations with a focus on our staff, patients and the community at large. City of Hope was founded on the principles of inclusion; we are leveraging that as a cornerstone and reenforcing that message with situational inclusivity training for all managers. Layered upon our investment in unconscious bias training last year, we are doubling efforts to equip leaders with tools, actionable techniques and shifts in behavioral mindsets. 

City of Hope is equipping managers with programs and initiatives that will build their awareness, understanding and strategic focus on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe diversity of cultural backgrounds, experience, perspective and approach at all levels and in all settings is critical for our mission of transforming the future of health, developing innovations in research and providing best-in-class, equitable cancer and diabetes care for our patients.

Michael Wright. Vice President of Diversity and Health Equity at Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, N.Y.): At Northwell Health, we are committed to embedding and sustaining the tenets of diversity, inclusion and health equity through our workforce practices, including the development of a culturally responsive workforce to address and meet the diverse needs of our team members, patients and communities served. One way we achieve this is through our recently launched Inclusion academy where team members can access education and training initiatives related to cultural competency, unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, microaggressions, bystander training, allyship, health literacy and language access programs.

Our business employee resource groups are also an integral component in achieving our workforce diversity strategy. Our BERGS were established to ensure a diverse pipeline of talent across all levels of leadership and help us build trusted partnership with the communities we serve. Our BERGs are a powerful voice in our organization and assist in furthering a culture of inclusion at Northwell and are integral in development of diversity and inclusion education, engagement in community outreach and broader business initiatives.  

Our engagement survey is a way to measure improvement.  We look specifically at BERG indicators and other diversity perception questions measured by the survey.


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