Diversity in the workplace is important, especially in the healthcare field, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be able to figure out which employers embrace diversity just by looking at the stock photos on a company brochure. It helps if the company promotes diverse candidates to the highest positions, and in the healthcare field, there are a number of CEOs of major firms.
That's good news, too, because healthcare continues to be a bright light in terms of employment opportunities, and will continue to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are five diverse CEOs who are at the top in health care:
- Angela Braly - WellPoint - Ms. Braly is a lawyer and former executive vice president who got her start providing legal counsel to a subsidiary insurance firm in Missouri. She has leveraged her J.D. from Southern Methodist University to bounce between general counsel and executive positions in the healthcare industry, and has ranked as the 10th most powerful woman by several media outlets since 2008.
- Heather Bresch - Mylan - Bresch may be the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, but she's blazed her own way at Mylan, a major generic pharmaceutical manufacturer. She's testified on behalf of better inspections of foreign manufacturing facilities and for quicker access to less expensive medicine in the United States.
- George Paz is the head of Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager that works with a number of major health insurers. Recently garnering a multi-billion contract to serve the Maryland state government, Paz has led efforts to consolidate Express Script's position, currently as one of the largest businesses in St. Louis.
- Surya Mohapatra holds a doctorate in medical physics and other degrees in medical electronics, and has worked in a number of different medical capacities before taking over Quest Diagnostics in 1999. He first served as chief operations officer, but took over the CEO position five years later, and is also active on the boards of a number of different organizations.
- Kenneth C. Frazier is the CEO of Merck, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer. Like Braly, he has a legal background and served as the firm's general counsel before assuming the top spot. He was the first African-American CEO of a pharmaceutical firm and also serves on the board of Penn State University, his alma mater.
Many job seekers looking for an emphasis on diversity should not only look at the diversity of senior management, but also pursue those companies that offer extensive programs for managerial and employee development for aspiring diversity leaders. Here are a few companies that offer such programs:
Johnson & Johnson - The board of directors and senior management positions are both filled with a number of diversity hires. In addition, its support for Asian Americans, Latinos and women is near the top, and it has strong talent development initiatives for diverse employees.
Kaiser Permanente - Based in California, one out of the five board of directors is an African-American, and it also has a number of Latinos on its board, as well as throughout the organizational chart. It also exemplifies its commitment to diversity though outreach programs in California and elsewhere.
Other companies that also offer strong benefits in terms of cultural diversity include WellPoint and Mylan as well as Quest Diagnostics. As we noted above, all three are headed by diverse CEOs.
There are a number of other companies in other industries that might offer you a strong support network. In your job search, just spend some quality time to do the deep research to find a company that supports diversity and promotes an all-inclusive work environment.