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Nurturing the Industry’s Next Generation of Female Leaders

by Feb 21, 2022Culture2 comments

young female worker

At the end of 2021, LHC Group was recognized as a “Best Company for Women” by Comparably, a leading workplace culture and compensation monitoring site.

The list was determined based solely on ratings from female employees. They were asked to report their workplace experiences within 20 core culture metrics. The survey also asked female employees their sentiment on topics including compensation, leadership, and professional development.

As a woman who has worked for this company for more than a decade, I was proud to see LHC Group recognized in this way. And I felt led to share a small part of my story, along with a few important lessons I have learned along the way.

When I began my career, I honestly did not imagine that I would serve in a leadership position at such a large and dynamic company. I was a working mom – I was prepared to be a controller or accounting manager somewhere small so I could balance work and family.

The journey has not always been easy, but I can honestly say that I am grateful that this company has provided me with so many opportunities that I never thought I would have.

In our case, I believe it starts at the beginning – LHC Group is a company launched by a woman. And even today, approximately 87 percent of our team members are women. The foundations were set early for women to succeed and advance and be respected for what we do here.

LHC Group has the right kind of women in leadership roles, promoting the right kind of culture to achieve this recognition. There are so many intelligent and talented women here at LHC Group. They are key to our future success, and we need them to run the core of our business.

On this front, LHC Group has been remarkably aware (and pro-active) over the years. During my time here I’ve never felt like gender was a reason for promotion, or lack thereof. It’s always been about a person’s ability to get the job done.

Whether you’re a woman or not, if you can get it done, you’re going to be put in a spot to be successful and advance in your career. I’ve found that our leadership team has always been very supportive.

And that’s where those of us with more experience have an obligation to help mentor and prepare the next generation of up-and-comers. And it’s important we talk with them, not at them. We still have much to learn, and there are many new issues and concerns younger women are facing that I didn’t have when I was younger. I don’t always have all the answers – and that’s OK.

That’s what I received early in my career – women who took the time to have the conversation and say, “You know what? It’s OK. Here’s how you manage that situation.”

If not for that, I would have struggled so much more. We should always be on the lookout for ways to “pay it forward.” Let’s make sure we’re talking with younger women entering our workforce, and that we’re talking through the right things.

So, in the interest of doing my part to fulfill that obligation, here are a few tidbits of advice – some given to me by my past mentors, and some based on my own experience:

I am often asked, “What advice would you give to young women entering this profession or an organization like LHC Group?

I have this conversation with quite a few of my younger direct reports. When you’re a young woman in the workforce, I think it’s important to recognize the fact that it’s OK to feel the pressure of balancing everything that you are trying to accomplish.

That’s not always easy, and few days will be perfect, but it’s important to keep working hard and pushing for the right things.

And when it comes to balancing a family and a career, today’s technology is such a tremendous tool in that regard. We can utilize that technology to create a better balance – it’s no longer necessary to be in an actual office seat to accomplish things. We have tools and resources women from 20, 30, or 40 years ago did not have, and it is our responsibility to learn how to use these tools and resources.

The most important thing I tell them: “Never, ever be afraid to speak up for yourself – it’s vital to achieving that balance.” The really talented ones tend to work themselves much too hard and sacrifice their home lives – I don’t think you have to do it that way.

I hope these few nuggets of advice have been helpful.

If you’re a woman who works with a great group of people (we do), and if you’re willing to be flexible, and you work for a company that is also willing to be flexible (we do), few things can stop you, and us, from being successful and achieving our goals – as individuals and as one company family.

For us, it’s all about helping people. To learn more, please visit lhcgroup.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark Willis

    Kimberly, great post and thanks for always “paying it forward.”

    Reply
  2. Vicky Hood

    Kimberly – Very good story with interesting facts about the percentage of women in leadership at LHC.

    Reply

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