3 28  |  HBAdvantage 28  |  HBAdvantage ACE Award Honorees, cont. This is why each year since 2007, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) has recognized successful corporations’ internal women’s leadership initiatives (WLIs). Not only do the awards bring much-needed recognition to companies that are getting it right, but the winning initiatives, and even the application process itself, also offer a roadmap to success for other companies looking to start a WLI. ACE awardees are chosen following a rigorous and independent review by a panel of industry leaders against the following criteria: • Measurable results • Business performance • Stewardship • Execution • Sustainability “This year’s ACE award winners—Pfizer, Insigniam and KPMG—are being recognized for the different dimensions of excellence outlined in our criteria,” says Liz Coyle, executive vice president, HBA. “Their programs and methods offer key best practices other healthcare organizations can follow to successfully implement and leverage their women’s leadership initiatives.”  Leaders of successful WLIs agree that engaging top execu- tives, and securing their support, early on is critical to driving WLI acceptance and implementation. When senior leaders serve as vocal champions, other senior leaders are quicker to lend their support and colleagues at all levels more fully understand the importance of the WLI to the organization. Senior-level support runs deep within all 2018 ACE awardee companies. At KPMG, for example, three top global executives led their award-winning WLI research initiative, supported by an advisory board of four senior leaders from their health- care life-science customer base and academia. To ensure continuity of senior leader involvement in D&I ac- tivities, Pfizer assigns leadership and executive sponsorship duties on each of its seven Pfizer Colleague Councils. Each of the company’s 70 women’s colleague resource groups have executive sponsors as well. Executive leaders further participate in related events and serve as mentors to program participants, as well as in leadership roles in the HBA. 4 Successful execution starts with finding out what employees and organizations want and need. KPMG took an innovative approach to understanding diversity and inclusion challenges and opportunities in their organiza- tion. They turned to crowdsourcing, setting up a 72-hour online conversation called a “jam,” in partnership with the HBA. Jams are considered a highly effective tool to surface ideas and in- spiration from many, and then refine them as a group to create novel and effective solutions. Over the course of three days, hundreds of employees—includ- ing women and men from all management levels—collaborat- ed in real time. Participants were encouraged to build on and challenge each other’s ideas, leading to deeply insightful and highly actionable outcomes. “KPMG’s unique approach allowed the company to capture the voice of their customer from a vast global organization,” says Cooke. “With both broad and specific input about the compa- ny’s culture and practices, they were able to identify and group pain points in order to develop relevant, targeted and measur- able solutions.” With an easily repeatable methodology, KPMG will be able to replicate the study in the future to evaluate change. The com- pany is also partnering with the HBA to disseminate informa- tion in publications, case studies and more in order to add to the collective knowledge around gender parity. 1BENCHMARK SUCCESS WITH MEASURABLE RESULTS Like all solid business initiatives, WLIs must benchmark their success against both quantitative and qualitative metrics. ACE award criteria calls for metrics around the numbers of employees reached by the WLI, as well as the impact of the WLI on the target population. 2 BROADEN THE VALUE OF YOUR WLI TO ENHANCE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE Successful WLIs serve as a resource not just for women, but also for their broader organization. What begins as a group focused on women’s networking and skill building, often evolves to be- come broader in scope, with programs that impact colleagues throughout an organizations resulting in real business successes. With more than 70 colleague resource groups and 5,459 registered members across the globe, Pfiz- er’s Global Women’s Council is a model for com- panies looking to take their WLIs to the next level. “Pfizer has demonstrated an extraordinary drive to unlock the full potential of their female talent pool with a portfolio of game-changing programs,” says Laurie Cooke, president and chief executive officer, HBA. Pfizer offers programs that encourage and support women to overcome documented barriers to advancement, as well as sponsorship pro- grams that provide high potential employees with intensive development, mentorship and access to senior executives. These opportunities are tied directly to broad busi- ness goals, with the stated purpose of establishing a global and local business case that resonates with men and women worldwide. Established focus areas include increasing business and finan- cial acumen as key components of all program- ming. And overall business goals include engaging female talent and intellectual capital to solve business problems and expand market potential. Insigniam has instituted objective standards for promotions, bonus programs and performance reviews that ensure a meritocracy is in place for career advancement. Moreover, the commitment is to allow each employee to be in control of their professional and financial destiny. As a result, the firm has a cumulative net promoter score of 73, has seen steady compound annual growth rate growth year over year and now has a partner group that is 50 percent female. ENGAGE SENIOR-LEVEL SUPPORT FROM THE OUTSET TAKE THE PULSE OF YOUR COMPANY BEFORE DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN 5 Each of the three 2018 ACE award winners have built strong partnerships with the HBA and other organizations dedicated to diversity and inclusion. For Insigniam, a nearly decade-long partnership with the HBA has proven to be highly effective and mutually beneficial. With approximately 60 employees across the globe, the company is a model for how small businesses can leverage the HBA’s development programs and industry presence to accelerate the development of their women leaders and drive broader business goals. Insigniam has integrated the HBA’s offerings as a core component of their company’s employee leadership develop- ment. Employees at every level are encouraged to use HBA programs to build their network and skills and HBA volunteer opportunities to strengthen their leadership experience. The company ensures a strong partnership through ongoing com- munication, aligning and tracking goals and identifying key opportunities throughout each year. The fact that Insigniam has achieved gender parity—with women leaders now representing 60 percent of the compa- ny’s partners and 55 percent of their consultants—speaks volumes. BUILD PARTNERSHIPS TO ENRICH, EXPAND AND SUSTAIN YOUR WLI