Bonnie St. John discusses women in the workplace with Humana CEO Bruce Broussard for International Women’s Day

Olympic medalist Bonnie St. John joined Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard on March 4 at Humana’s Inaugural International Women’s Day Celebration.

Humana’s workforce is 72 percent women, with 59% of management and 43% of senior leaders represented by women. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the rich contributions women make at Humana and in the healthcare industry.

Bonnie, who had her right leg amputated at age 5 and was the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, sat down with Bruce to discuss inclusion, diversity and advancing women in the workplace.

Bruce said that when diversity – whether it’s reflected in gender, birthplace, veteran status or otherwise – is present in a group, better decisions emerge. He also noted that women play active roles in healthcare decision-making.

“We need a workforce that reflects the communities we serve,” Bruce said.

He also said that this work is the right thing to do. “Every organization should give everyone the opportunity to grow,” he said. “It’s a reflection of company values.”

Bruce and Bonnie provided advice to women wanting to advance.

  1. Speak up. In her experience coaching women, Bonnie said, “You think your work will speak for itself, but work doesn’t speak.” Keeping your head down and hoping someone will notice will not suffice in the workplace.
  2. Be part of the conversation. If you want to advance and lead, then don’t be afraid to tell people what you want. Women can be perfectionists, but you don’t need to have it all figured out before jumping in. 
  3. Take risks. Bruce said, “I find that when you (take risks), you grow, you learn. You might trip, but you can get up, brush off, and go on. Being a perfectionist limits your ability take risks.”

The audience also heard from Kathy Driscoll, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer; Charlon McIntoch, Vice President of Consumer Experience and Transformation; and Ty Richardson, Vice President in Human Resources.

Each discussed the various roles women play in healthcare, both as decision-making consumers and caregivers, as well as women in the healthcare profession.

“Women are serving as Chief Medical Officers for their families,” Charlon said, “with tremendous impact in the health of their families.”

Kathy noted that over 85 percent of nurses are women and that women are more represented in direct-member roles.

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