Chasm Conversations

Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare: Part Four

March 27, 2024

In the fourth and final installment of our series honoring Women’s History Month, we spoke with Chasm’s own Julie Chavey, Principal of ChasmSearch, to glean her insights and advice about recruiting for diversity in healthcare.

Missed Parts One, Two, or Three? Catch up: Part One; Part Two; Part Three

About Julie Chavey

Julie has over 15 years of experience in executive recruiting, specifically within healthcare. Prior to joining Chasm Partners in 2021, Julie served as a Managing Consultant within the Healthcare and Healthcare Technology Practice at Korn Ferry where she worked with a variety of clients across healthcare and life sciences.

How do you define diversity within the context of executive recruiting in healthcare, and why is this important?

In today's competitive landscape, aligning your workforce with the demographics of your customer base can significantly elevate the quality of your product or service. Nowhere is this more evident than in the healthcare sector, where the end user isn't just a customer, but a patient whose health and well-being hang in the balance.

We're witnessing this paradigm shift across various industries like fast food, retail, and airlines, where embracing diverse perspectives leads to breakthroughs in customer service. Patients, rightfully seen as savvy consumers with options, deserve equitable representation in healthcare decision-making forums.

But it's not just about representation; it's about fostering an inclusive workplace where every voice is heard and valued. In such an environment, employees are empowered to contribute their ideas freely, fueling a culture of innovation and progress. This dynamic is particularly critical in healthcare, where innovations directly translate to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.

How can an executive recruiter engage healthcare stakeholders in conversations about creating a more diverse workforce?

As healthcare executive search consultants, our role extends far beyond simply matching candidates with positions; we view ourselves as integral members of our client's team. To excel in this capacity, we approach our work with a spirit of curiosity, asking probing questions that often stem from the candidates themselves. Questions like: What does diversity mean within your organization? Can you describe the composition of your leadership team and identify any gaps? How does your company support employees from diverse backgrounds?

Building a diverse team isn't merely about filling roles; it's about nurturing individuals to thrive in their positions. Drawing from my background as an in-house recruiter, I understand the importance of more than just meeting diversity quotas. It's about collaborating with dedicated talent development teams to cultivate and empower those individuals to make a meaningful impact.

What are your recruiting strategies for sourcing and recruiting diverse candidates?

In executive search, we must align with our client's vision of diversity. To do this, we consult with our clients to establish realistic expectations for the profiles we're sourcing, drawing on market insights and our expertise to set achievable objectives. When data indicates constraints, we broaden our search to ensure a more diverse pool of candidates is considered.

Networking is important, but it's the quality of connections that truly matters. We kick off by tapping into our existing networks, enabling us to quickly engage with candidates from diverse backgrounds, each bringing unique experiences and perspectives to the table. Effective networking involves a multi-faceted approach, including collaborating with diverse organizations, utilizing professional networking platforms and events, and setting clear recruitment targets to guide our efforts and measure progress.

Crafting a compelling narrative is equally vital, particularly when advocating for a diverse candidate. As recruiters, we're adept at aligning candidate expertise with the client’s requirements. However, as executive search consultants, we must reframe our evaluation and discussion of talent to emphasize how each candidate can contribute to and drive the organization forward, even if it deviates from the initial expectations. This requires in-depth knowledge of the business goals of the client and the experience, capabilities, and motivation of the candidate. 

What advice can you provide to diverse candidates – specifically gender diverse?

First, “Raise Your Hand.” Research shows a significant gender gap in job applications. Often, men apply for positions even if they meet only 60% of the qualifications, while women tend to hold back unless they meet every single requirement. It's time to change that narrative. Consider reframing your story. What unique perspective or skill set do you bring to the table? How could you enrich an organization, even if you don't check off every bullet point in the job description?

Second, “Find a Champion.” Mentors are invaluable, but a Champion takes it a step further. This person is not just a guide but a powerful advocate for your professional advancement. They have the connections and drive to actively promote your visibility within the organization and help you make meaningful connections in your field.

Lastly, “Know your Value.” Many female and gender-diverse candidates hesitate when asked about compensation, often responding with questions of their own. But it's essential to recognize your worth in the market. While compensation discussions can be sensitive, especially during executive searches, understanding your value and being open about your expectations can lead to more equitable offers. Remember, compensation laws are evolving, and inquiries into your current pay may be off-limits, which can work in your favor if you've been historically underpaid. As executive search consultants, we're here to understand your needs and how they align with the market and help you navigate these discussions confidently.

About Chasm Partners

Chasm Partners is a leading healthcare talent solutions provider. Since 2015, we have partnered with preeminent private equity and venture capital firms to place and develop exceptional executive talent and build high-performing teams in the most innovative organizations in healthcare services and technology. Our three lines of service — ChasmSearch Executive Search, ChasmTeam Non-Executive Search, and ChasmLead Leadership Coaching & Development — address organizational talent needs at every stage of growth, enabling us to act as true talent partners to our clients and their investors. We believe that talent is a prerequisite to an organization’s success, and we are committed to leveraging our expertise and networks to enable our clients to transform healthcare.

Julie Chavey
Principal, ChasmSearch

Julie Chavey

Principal, ChasmSearch
  • Over 15 years in executive search and leadership recruiting.
  • Expertise in placing C-Suite and VP-level executives across multiple functions in healthcare technology and services.

Julie views healthcare technology as a key driver in patient outcomes and population health. She is grateful to have an opportunity to have an impact on patient experience through executive search and is driven to connect with people who share this passion.

Prior to joining Chasm Partners, Julie served as a Managing Consultant within the Healthcare and Healthcare Technology Practice at Korn Ferry. She has worked with a variety of clients across healthcare and life sciences including for-profit healthcare services, healthcare information technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, health systems, and managed care organizations.

Preceding Korn Ferry, Julie served as First Vice President, Executive Talent Acquisition for a major financial services organization where she supported the organization’s senior leadership talent needs.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University and served as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. She is an avid animal lover and enjoys the diverse food scene in Atlanta, GA where she lives with her spouse and their rescue dog.

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