Oliver Wyman Women in Healthcare Leadership Award presented by Terry Stone, Oliver Wyman #216


It was, literally, a year ago today, I think
that our team was sitting upstairs when the announcement and data came out that there
were literally more men, there were 22 named Michael. There were only 20 women in total and then
the next most was 18 people named Chris. So we were really kind of starting from a
bad place and my team sat around and said, you know, we’re actually a part of the business
within Oliver Wyman that actually has a good amount of women. We have a female leader. We have a higher percent of women partners
in our practice than any other part of our business and much higher than the industry
average overall. And we said, if not us, then who? So many of the women that are out there in
healthcare today are our friends. They’re our clients. They’re people that we want to see, have an
impact and make a difference and that’s what got us started. Both on the research report that’s referenced
here as well as on this journey, quite frankly, to wanting to create an award and create a
movement. And so before I get to the award, I wanted
to explain a little bit about what our motivation was for this, because I don’t know about you,
but there’s plenty of reports out there, there is a lot of data out there about the challenge
of women in business, women in leadership, you hear things about unconscious bias, confidence
gaps, you hear plenty about what we need to do to level the playing fields. And in fact we sort of took a step back when
we did our research and said, how are we going to help make change happen? We don’t want to just write a report. We want to kind of start a movement. So I was saying to my colleague over there,
we didn’t state it as a moonshot, but I think we’ve got a moonshot coming of what’ll it
look like when we have maybe 50-50 in the C suite at some point in the near term in
the healthcare industry. And when we went on this journey, we said,
you know, these are a bunch of smart people. When we started talking to male and female
executives, it was very clear that everybody believed that the right thing to do is have
more diversity, more females, more racial and ethnic diversity. Yet somehow despite that belief, we were all
kind of getting stuck and we weren’t making enough progress. And so we set out on this to figure out what’s
hidden from view, what are the things we might be missing that actually we could uncover
and help others see that there is a path forward. That in fact we’re not making enough progress,
but that it’s not impossible. And again, very important to us was everybody’s
doing research. You’ll see we have statistics. Our competitors have statistics. How could we help people see what was really
causing the impediment to progress? And then how do we get people to start to
think about this more and create more of a movement to make progress and change. So I’m not addicted to my cell phone, but
I brought it up here for explicit purpose because we launched the study yesterday and
early this morning I had an email from a female CEO. She’s someone who’s pretty reasonably high
profile in this industry and was a very generous contributor in the beginning of doing interviews
with us and we went back and forth with her a few times. I want to read to you a little bit about what
she said in her note back to me because I think it’s indicative of, at least I feel
as if we’re starting to make progress and that we are starting to get people to think
differently about it. And to me this is at least an early sign of
success. Twenty four hours from getting it out. So she writes, “great read.” And she said, “a couple of immediate takeaways
come to mind for me.” And her first statement was, “I am not unique. So many of the quotes, so many of the stories
aligned with my own experiences. I’ve spent my entire career,” and this is
the, a CEO of a significant health of United States. “I have spent my career keeping these thoughts,
experienced statements, et cetera, to myself, no whining allowed, believing that the best
revenge is really success.” And she writes, “but reading this, I also
now know that the power is in sharing. Sharing these stories, raising awareness,
making people pay attention. How do we get people to see what we’re not
seeing so we can kind of get it out of the way?” She said, “I worked for a chairman who told
me diversity does not include females, so stop.” And she says, “awareness is really powerful,
so thank you again.” And she actually herself says, “you know what? I myself have work to do on this topic. Although I manage broadly and I try and ensure
that all have a voice and different styles are supported within my organization, there
is so much more I myself can do.” And she ended by saying, “I need to be a more
active mentor. If you have thoughts on this, anyone, I’d
appreciate it, but I know there’s more I can do.” So this is a female CEO in the industry talking
about how just getting into thinking about this more helped her realize how she could
be a better leader. And I think that’s actually the challenge
to all of us and our award today is part of this same journey, right? We, we hope for the next years to come, hopefully
not too many because hopefully by at some point, no one will care about women equality
and leadership because we’ll already be there, but we want this to be something that we raise
visibility to. And the women, the Oliver Wyman Women in Healthcare
Leadership Award is just about that. It’s about recognizing a leader in the industry
each year, male or female, who really embodies that kind of passion and spirit to think differently,
to drive change, to improve healthcare quality and outcomes, and to also drive diversity
in the leadership teams. Gender diversity, racial and ethnic diversity. And the individual being recognized today
embodies all of that. In this case it is a female and she is the
President and CEO of one of the largest managed Medicaid organizations in the country. I do realize when I’m out here in Silicon
Valley, sometimes we’ve got people who are tech first and health second. So for those Medicaid is for the poor people,
Medicare’s for the old people and Medicaid is for the poor people. And this individual’s President and CEO of
one of the biggest plans in the country, biggest Medicaid plans in the country in a state where
there are a lot of poor people and where having an impact and making a change is the difference
probably between funding that goes to education and other things versus goes to covering healthcare
costs. This individual has demonstrated the kind
of commitment, innovation, thinking differently, and has been recognized as being the first
Medicaid plan out there to really put a significant investment and effort against using technology,
using texts to engage their consumer base. Doing automated scheduling for this very poor
vulnerable part of the population. And actually, through the use of that and
other types of social media and investing in a segment of the population that people
don’t necessarily put as much time and attention to, has made a tremendous impact on the lives
of these individuals and the cost of delivering care to them. In addition, she and her organization, were
recognized by NCQA as the first managed Medicare, Medicaid or, I think, the first managed care
organization in the country to receive an award for longterm support services and the
innovation which they displayed there. And as a result of this, they are able to
keep these very vulnerable people in the home, not in assisted living centers or in facilities,
able to keep them with their loved ones, keep them with their families and keep them in
the community, really enabling them to live the lives they want to leave the best they
can. She has demonstrated innovation and commitment
over and over. She’s taken risks in her career. She’s been 30 plus years at this organization,
starting as a claims supervisor. So, she’s literally in there in the trenches
in the early days, supervising claims getting paid. And truly this entire journey probably started
with one of those internal postings. This is back before the internet. So for those of you, there was no sort of
postings like that. They probably were actually on a bulletin
board in the break room and it was internal posting for, “We’re starting a new part of
the business focused on the Medicaid population. No one’s ever done it before. You know all comers welcome. If you’re interested, let us know,” and this
individual put her hand up, jumped into the fray, basically dug in, rolled her sleeves
up, and from that day forward has just been making change and having impact. She’s an incredible lady who is so well respected
by her peers. She works in an organization that quite frankly
is on the outer edge of innovation with regard to how they think about culture and diversity
for gender, for racial and ethnic diversity. They’ve been quite a leader. And with that in mind, we are so proud to
have her as both a contributing member to the initial work we did and also just to recognize
her and that organization. And so I hope you can all provide a nice loud
round of applause for Amber Cambron from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. Yes, you got good music, girl. Congratulations. This is your award and I also, Kathryn Weismantel
on our team worked extremely hard at finding something that didn’t just look like a trophy. So in the spirit of different, it’s a mosaic
and it’s designed by a female artist in Dallas and we want to give this to you and hope that
it will represent the blend of how diversity comes together in beautiful ways and can have
a real impact. And so Amber, thank, no thank you, for all
your hard work and everything you do. We really, really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Amber. Amber is fantastic. I, I encourage all of you to meet her during
the cocktail reception that will be occurring later, but I also, I want to pose a challenge
to all of you, which is what I was describing is what the incumbent side of the healthcare
industry is looking like today and we’ve got some real change to make happen. But many of the people in this room represents
startup organizations and I was really pleased with. Katya’s statistics of how many are female
CEOs, et cetera, but as one of my colleagues and I were talking before this, you know,
the challenge to all of you is you have the chance to get it right the first time to think
differently. Not only fixate on the product and the solution
you’re bringing to bear, but also think about the impact you can have. The organization. Who you’re hiring into your leadership team. Who are you putting on your boards. Where are you going for funding. And how do you, in addition to trying to make
a big impact and change in healthcare, how do you make an impact on this other really
big important issue which is more diversity in the business C suite. And with that, a challenge to the incumbent
companies, many of whom are my friends, many of whom are my clients, which is, we got a
lot of work to do. And I want to thank you all for your commitment
and energy as we were getting this movement underway. And I just want to challenge us all that if,
if we all kind of pull together, I think we can really make a big difference. And so thank you all.

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