The HBA's DE&I Journey | HBA

The HBA's DE&I Journey

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are the foundation of our existing organizational values, our culture, and respect for all people and their ideas and identities. Our greatest strength lies in our understanding of the diverse range of stakeholders we are honored to represent.

As the last two years presented a seismic shift in our world to more widely expose racial, gender, economic and health inequities, our mission to advance the careers of women has accelerated the necessity to achieve more impactful change now.

We seized the month of April 2021 and acknowledgment of Celebrate Diversity Month as an opportunity to share progress and what’s to come as the HBA continues on our quest for equity impact with unwavering commitment and infinite hope. Intentional about holding ourselves accountable to make change, we invite you to join us on our DE&I journey.


The HBA has a nearly 45-year history advocating for gender parity in the workplace. We have cultivated a reputation for making significant impact through our vast global reach, expansive corporate partner network and dedicated volunteer leadership.

As an industry champion of McKinsey and’s “Women in the Workplace” study, we saw firsthand data showing advancement of women but saw the glaring reality that it was not equitable for all women. With this insight, the HBA committed to embark on a course of intentional actions critical to truly realize measurable change for women of color—learn about our path to date in Our Journey section.



This year as we move forward, we wholeheartedly agree and acknowledge the urgency to dismantle old mindsets, systems and policies that have created barriers for the advancement of women and in particular women of color. Bold, innovative change is needed to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. Our plan is iterative and fluid as we solicit feedback and integrate needs from our key stakeholders—yes, that means YOU.



How can you join us in this journey?

We are so glad you asked. Share your feedback about how the HBA can best support you and/or your company to be a change-agent for a more diverse, inclusive and equitable HBA community.
This effort will take all of us working together as a United Force for Change. Allies, advocates and accomplices–here's your opportunity to make a major impact along this journey. More details will be shared throughout the month on our plans to continue our progress on this journey. We are eager to engage our members in the next steps to identify additional actions for championing DE&I throughout our association and the healthcare industry.


In 2018, the Gender Parity Collaborative was formed, now comprised of 16 companies, committed to working to eradicate systemic barriers to women’s career advancement. The Collaborative has been convening powerful solution summits centered around the disparities for women of color – specifically Black and Latinx women. Member companies are making significant strides on gender parity and DE&I impact.

In 2019, we created an executive steering committee to discuss issues of advancement related to women of color and the role of the HBA to influence change. The 2019 Annual Conference also welcomed the launch of the HBA Women of Color affinity group—a stellar network of committed volunteers providing space of belonging for members identifying with the women of color experience and allies and advocates.

In 2020, we created a more intentional and thoughtful plan that resulted in our current DE&I Journey. We embraced the wave of passionate engagement from our volunteer community and gathered candid insights from members. Leveraging virtual platforms across the association, a number of impactful awareness and education events—more than 25 from June through December—challenged us to transparently share in uncomfortable but necessary conversations around racial inequities and how to be advocates, allies and accomplices.

  • A new staff DE&I head role was created and announced in February to spearhead our Journey.
  • A listening tour of key stakeholder groups was conducted and will be the foundation for action plans moving forward.
  • Dedicated DE&I training for staff and key volunteer leaders to ensure process, programming and people
  • Actively building a DE&I Council to guide our work and create accountability for delivering on our goals
  • Developing/Influencing programs across the association to ensure content, speakers and panels best represent our members and are inclusive (Woman of The Year, Annual Conference, local events, etc.)
  • Intentional focus on broadening awareness of other cultures and identities through celebrations of key months (i.e., Asian and Pacific Islander Awareness Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth, Hispanic Heritage Month, etc.)
  • Actively creating sponsorship opportunities for companies to highlight their commitment to DE&I
  • Seeking opportunities to be more vocal and taking a stance on issues of workplace and social inequity that do not align with our organizational values
  • Nominating committee work is underway to identify upcoming leadership openings on the board of directors with a dedicated focus on DE&I
  • Feedback solicited from our advisory board on how to maximize our voice as an established industry leader to initiate bold change in the DE&I space
  • For Black History Month, the HBA showcased corporate partners and chapter events dedicated to awareness and celebration
    • Every Monday, an influential HBA woman of color hosted a social media take over to share her experiences
  • During Women’s History Month, special programming including International Women’s Day was hosted by chapters, regions and corporate partners 
  • HBA’s leadership has been actively engaged speaking out through panels, written articles, videos and social media postings focused on issues impacting women in the workplace and the disparities experienced by women of color and other underrepresented groups
  • The HBA held Accelerating Women’s Leadership in the Healthcare Industry and Beyond, on 23 April as part of the US Celebrate Diversity Awareness month.
  • "Solidarity with the Asian Community" panel hosted by HBA Zurich-Zug to address the effects of recent Asian hate on workplace communities - 3 May
  • HBA Women of Color affinity group partnered with HBA Philadelphia to host Leaders are Readers: Virtual Book Club May 2021 - Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents on 13 May.
  • Acknowledged World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development - 21 May 
  • Launched a new member-only online community for LGBTQ+ allies and advocates - 1 June
  • Launched the member-only Unison of Faith, Allies, Culture and Ethnicity Affinity Group (U-FACE) - 3 June
  • HBA Mid-Atlantic hosted "Leadership Solidarity Against Racial Inequality: The Reunion Event" to check in on companies with their pledge for solidarity to the Black and Brown communities after the last year of social unrest - 8 June
  • The HBA Women of Color Affinity Group hosted an inagural Juneteenth event on Friday, 18 June to Connect, Chat & Celebrate Juneteenth coinciding with the signing of the federal law acknowledging 19 June as a federal holiday
  • HBA Northern New Jersey presented an engaging panel sponsored by Bayer - "Step Up: How to be a Stronger Ally to the Asian Community" 8 July
  • In response to member and Corporate Partner requests, registration opened for the first Women of Color Wellness Summit (8 Nov) as a pre-conference opportunity to check in on physical, mental, financial and professional wellbeing for women of color - 1 August
  • HBA Mid-Atlantic and Women of Color Affinity Group hosted Leaders are Readers Virtual Book Club featuring "The Sum of Us" by Heather McGhee - 12 August
  • Hispanic Heritage Month celebration 15 September thru 15 October
  • Launching the inagural Honoring Opportunities for Partnerships & Equity (H.O.P.E.) Accelerated Leadership Program for underrepresented groups - 1 October; new cohort opens up Spring 2022  


The 2021-2023 high level plan includes a multi-faceted approach to allocate efforts across the HBA enterprise to achieve maximum impact in a coordinated fashion. To execute on the full spectrum of DE&I, we will review and modify our policies, practices and program offerings as an association using the framework of intersectionality to identify and address inequities created when race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, generation, sexual orientation, ability, linguistic, professional, and other social and economic differences are used as a basis for discrimination and privilege.

Our approach leverages our staff, volunteer leadership, and Collaborative companies and includes associated metrics to measure progress. Key goals for our inaugural journey year 2021 focuses on the McKinsey data to accelerate women of color advancement:

  • Build global brand awareness as a credible source on DE&I including gender and racial equity (website, social media, thought leadership articles, other visibility opportunities)
  • Increase the equitable representation of women of color across the HBA enterprise (board, advisory board, global volunteer leadership, membership, staff, speakers, vendors, suppliers, awards and recognition)
  • Increase impactful offerings for companies to support women of color talent, create opportunities for greater visibility of women of color and underrepresented top talent
  • Initiate dialogue with potential alliance organizations and institutions for key partnerships to accelerate talent pipeline impact and to leverage reputable programming platforms


Last year, we were faced with the realities of where the association should play a greater role in speaking up and out and advocating for change. We gathered, listened and responded to stakeholder feedback that helped establish the foundation of our current DE&I Journey.
Specific initiatives in 2020:

  • HBA’s CEO and board issued statements of solidarity with the Black and Brown communities
  • Our team launched staff “Talk About It” sessions on racial inequities and topics on inclusive workplaces
  • Rolled out virtual programming on racial inequities (Let’s Get Uncomfortable, Unmasking, etc.) including a Women of Color Sponsorship vs. Mentorship webinar
  • Women of Color Affinity Group hosted The Memo virtual book club that inspired the 2020 Annual Conference keynote Minda Harts
  • Our corporate partner annual Building Better Business Connections (3BC) event focused on inclusive leadership
  • The Gender Parity Collaborative held events with executive leaders focused on how to break barriers to accelerate advancement for women of color
  • Our virtual Annual Conference offered the most diverse and inclusive roster of speakers, workshops and panels