HIMSS executive VP Carla Smith on a mission to shatter the glass ceiling
It may seem that HIMSS Executive Vice President Carla Smith has always been on a mission, and she has been – as champion for healthcare information technology even prior to coming on board at HIMSS in 2001. Before joining HIMSS, Smith served for seven years as CEO of the Center for Healthcare Information Management.
These days, Smith, who like many women, is a master juggler, has taken up a new initiative.
It’s a tall order, but she’s engaging a bevy of like-minded, can-do women to help break the glass ceiling. Yes, that glass ceiling – the one that seems to be getting higher day by day.
With new statistics in hand, Smith will serve as moderator for “Breaking the Glass Ceiling session at the Summit of the Southeast in Nashville, September 14 from 11:15 a.m.-noon.
Dana Alexander, vice president, clinical advisory services at Divurgent, and also one of the judges for the newly minted Women in Health IT Awards initiative, will be joining Smith to discuss lessons learned, experiences, and counsel from female executives who are top achievers in health IT. Also joining the panel are Diane M. Carr, deputy executive director for operations, North Bronx Healthcare Network; Willa Fields, RN, professor at San Diego State University and Miriam Paramore, COO at Lucro Marketplace.
Going by HIMSS’ most recent survey, the glass ceiling is indeed getting higher. The gender pay gap in health IT is getting wider.
In 2006 the average female IT worker made 81 percent of the average male IT salary. By 2015 the difference widened, with women compensated at a rate of 78 percent for doing the same jobs, according to the HIMSS Longitudinal Gender Compensation Assessment.
When it comes to disparities, Alexander is clear about how to start.
“It starts with the data presented that clearly displays the disparities and taking that data forward in a public way to educate organizational leaders,” she said. “I see the opportunity and responsibility for me to educate about the disparities within my own employer organization both upward to top leadership and across the organization to other leaders.”
Speaking of data, Alexander will also present a session on MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which establishes a new payment model based on value-based care.
“MACRA: What We Know, Don’t Know, and How to Prepare,” is set for Sept. 15 from 11:45-12:30 p.m. at the summit.
The Summit of the Southeast is putting a spotlight on women this year. The Tennessee HIMMS Chapter is co-sponsoring the HERe Women’s Leadership Conference with the Tennessee Chapter of HFMA on September 13.
Also on September 13, TN HIMSS is co-hosting the kickoff of the 1st Annual Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards Reception with HIMSS North America at the Nashville Music City Center.