Written by Loddie Foose, PhD
That was what hundreds of women said on a public forum when asked if they wanted to help build a group called ‘Women in Healthcare Give Back’.
The enthusiastic response to that post showed that the idea resonated, and what has become of it has proven that we can give back to the world while unlocking our limitless human potential and bringing greater meaning to our own lives.
While I didn’t know it at the time, it was through the development of this now international community of women that we would foster cross-industry partnerships for the good of humanity while developing leadership skills in the women beyond any of their perceived personal and professional limitations.
And getting to this point was an incredible journey.
What started as a local New Jersey and New York area affinity group of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, quickly became much more. Rather than allowing COVID-19 to slow our efforts, we found opportunity in adversity by changing our inaugural in-person regional event into a global event.
With people stuck at home eager to re-engage in social activity and discover ways to give back meaningfully, we reimagined the platform and moved it entirely online. In fact, being virtual improved our reach, quickly allowing us to build to 200 core members. These members, combined with a broader and growing LinkedIn community of 1,000, used their time and talent to move mountains for non-profits like Project C.U.R.E – leveraging their networks to source and deliver lifesaving medical equipment and supplies to low-resource countries.
Just Beautiful. Facing a cause greater than themselves, women jumped out of their comfort zones to have a positive impact. These experiences, combined with coaching sessions, leadership panels and workshops, have shown me firsthand how a program such as this one can unlock the inner leader within people.
This is evidenced in my one-on-ones when I witness the beginning of a mentees’ leadership journey, marked when I hear things from them like: “You know what, Loddie, I really think this is my time to step up.”
Seeing them develop their voice, self-advocate and grow as a professional gives me confidence in our group. This is a formula to increase the representation of women in leadership.
Not surprisingly, an increasing number of companies are realizing the value of investing in diverse representation within leadership ranks. Indeed, research shows that diversity in leadership drives company outperformance relative to peers on profitability and share performance.
For Women in Healthcare Give Back, our goal is to foster this concept by continuing to build a strong community of women in healthcare so that one day the makeup of our leadership truly reflects that of the global population; proving that if we give back together, we will grow together -- and lift the world together.
P.S. Anyone who is passionate about the intersection of giving back and leadership development can join our movement for Women in Healthcare Give Back on LinkedIn. HBA members can also join our 2022 global program, Amplify Your Impact.