Published in Modern Healthcare
By Sherrie Barch and Bob Clarke
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is not just an initiative, it’s an organizational imperative.
When organizations value diversity of thought and welcome varied experiences, they are more innovative, achieve more growth and have broader, positive impacts on not only their organizational success, but the community at large.
Building a strong foundation for DEI takes moving beyond the status quo of just checking boxes. We must create strategies for systemic change, develop pathways for access and exposure, and establish processes, tools and metrics that encourage authentic, transformational leadership at all levels of our organizations.
For more than a decade, we at Furst Group and NuBrick Partners have supported Modern Healthcare’s Top Women Leaders and Top Diversity Leaders in Healthcare programs. It is our imperative to honor and recognize the leaders at the forefront of DEI because they are crucial to driving sustainable change.
But we can no longer expect these leaders and organizations to build momentum and improve the
future of healthcare equity without our intentional and active support. We must join them in this imperative, for they have moved beyond words into action.
We must move beyond reactive to proactive—be vulnerable and take stock of the hard truths, reflect on where we’ve been, where we are now and push forward because complacency is not an option. Real change takes real work.
Current and past honorees have shown us through their outstanding accomplishments how to push past the boundaries of our comfort to challenge ourselves, our organizations and our communities to do the work. They’ve shown us how to make space for one another, how to listen and learn and how to close the gaps with determination, focus and discipline.
As we enact sustainable, positive change, DEI must be the driver of our strategic goals, which should be integrated and measured to ensure accountability in all that we do. DEI isn’t something that needs to be solved. It’s a mindset that needs to be deeply intertwined and embedded in our organizational cultures—in every decision, every response and every action.
Together, engaged and energized, we can move forward armed with the knowledge of the past and the confidence to build a future without barriers.