Winter 2018  |  39 RADICAL HOSPITALITY | PROFESSIONAL ENRICHMENT | BUSINESS GROWTH | INCLUSION Thetimefortalkis OVER. The HBA’s Gender Parity Collaborative takes a bold stand for action— and accountability—in women’s workplace advancement. Promoting women’s advancement in the workplace is nothing new. From company initiatives to national conferences to public commitments, corporate America has been championing gender diversity for years. So we must be making great progress, right? Progress has stalled at all levels, according to McKinsey & Company and’s Women in the Workplace 2018, the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. Since the study began tracking data in 2015, women have moved virtually no closer to parity at any level. Despite the fact that study after study shows companies with women leaders perform better, companies still hire fewer women than men, promote even fewer to the first crucial step up the ladder as manager—and then fewer and fewer at each successive rung. Indeed, just one in five C-suite leaders is a woman, and just one in 25 is a woman of color. In healthcare specifically, men are promoted at higher rates than women from the VP level on up. So what’s the problem? While organizations are talking the talk about inviting women to the table, they’re still not serious enough about making sure there’s a seat. WOMEN CAN’T LEAN IN ALONE In her 2013 book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg instructed women to ask themselves this: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.” Be bold, she advised. Take more stretch assignments and new challenges. Take risks—and learn by doing—even if you’re not guaranteed success. Women have done just that. But, as the HBA and the authors of this study agree, Sandberg says it’s not enough for women to lean in. Companies need to take her advice as well. To be bold in creating inclusive cultures, to stretch toward challenging gender parity goals, and to take the risk of real transparency and accountability—even if that means admitting they aren’t living up to their promises. Gender Parity Collaborative partners are stepping up. This is precisely what the HBA’s Gender Parity Collaborative aims to do. The 12 founding member organizations—all prominent leaders in healthcare— are joining forces to take bold action. As part of this, the companies will collect, analyze and build accountability around their annual gender parity performance data, in collaboration with McKinsey & Co. and “While we’ve been working to drive change, we are not satisfied. Our internal initiatives and efforts aren’t enough, at this point,” says Rod MacKenzie, EVP, chief development officer, Pfizer. “We’re going to challenge ourselves by examining the data, comparing it with our peers and holding each other accountable for making those numbers rise and generating measurable results.” This is a natural evolution for the HBA—and for the Collaborative’s founding members. The HBA has long recognized the need for evidence-based approaches and accountability. Take, for example, the organization’s ACE (Advancement. Commitment. Engagement.) awards, started in 2007, which honor companies’ internal women’s leadership initiatives based on a rigorous review of their measurable results, business performance, stewardship, execution and sustainability. Several of the Collaborative’s founding members are ACE award recipients, and many have been recognized for their gender diversity efforts. MAKING GENDER PARITY A BUSINESS PRIORITY The Collaborative members’ goal is to make gender parity a business priority within each of their individual organizations—and then inspire others to do the same by sharing their successes and strategies. At the group’s first council meeting this November, members worked together to set their top priorities. At two solution summits over the course of the coming year, they will reconvene to tackle these priorities one by one, working collaboratively toward solutions and strategies for effective implementation. The group will then analyze the results from the next annual benchmarking study, asking hard questions and evolving their approaches each year based on performance data. “We believe that together, relying on solid data, proactive strategies and firm accountability, we can close the gender gap, accelerate business results and transform our industry,” says says Christine Miller, head, global portfolio at Sandoz, a Novartis division. And they’re moving fast. “The data indicates that if organizations begin hiring and promoting women at equal levels, we could achieve parity in management within 10 years. Half of that time would be better,” says Liz Coyle, EVP, value offerings, HBA.  38  | HBAdvantage WRONG. SOBERING STATS FROM WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE 2018