On Thursday, June 16th, the Most Influential Women in Health IT Award recipients shared their insights, experiences, and advice on driving transformational change in Health IT in a HIMSS-hosted webinar. Pixel Health’s own Barbara W. Casey, CRO, shared her career journey, how she found her voice as a leader, her thoughts on encouraging more women in STEM, and techniques for staying grounded.
- Q: “When you started your career, did you ever think you would be in a leadership position? Did you ever imagine being a women leader in healthcare IT?”
- A: “I have always wanted to be a leader,” said Casey. “Ever since I was a kid, I would watch re-runs of That Girl and The Mary Tyler Moore Show and think to myself, ‘I want to be just like them”. I want to work in a big city, lead a team, and do meaningful work that fulfills me—always striving for improvement and climbing higher. As I progressed in my career, I realized I needed to stop striving and honor the time, space, and people around me. I needed to listen and learn from my colleagues to fully understand our organization and the healthcare industry. That way, I can strategize and leverage my team’s strengths to the best of their abilities to produce the best outcomes for our clients and company. You can be in healthcare your whole career and only see a small sliver of it. I feel very fortunate to be in this position.”
- Q: “Sometimes it can be hard to find your voice. How did you find your voice? How did you find your most authentic self? How has that set you up for success?”
- A: “I am vocal, to begin with, so I needed to practice patience and humility. I worked as a change agent in many of my roles, intrapreneur for the larger companies, and entrepreneur during the pandemic when I started my firm. I needed to figure out how do I reflect on the best of what is around me and stay true to my most authentic self. Keeping that as my center while acting as a mirror, reflecting on my client’s needs, and bringing those factors together to drive transformational change. I need to assimilate the information, synthesize it, and figure out the common thread between all the stakeholders. It’s how I use my voice and leadership ability every day in my job, and I love it. I also ask many questions instead of making statements, especially when there are different levels of understanding throughout the room. A well-crafted question can showcase your knowledge on the subject while leveling the playing field for everyone. I try to ensure that while diversity is represented, it’s essential to hear everyone’s voice, so it’s an art of amplifying your voice to help everyone be heard.”
- Q: “Why aren’t there more women in Health IT leadership roles, and how can we get more women in leadership?”
- A: “If you think about a lot of the barriers in the past with women in leadership, especially in IT, it was rooted in education. I think there has been a lot of work put in to encourage young girls and women to get into STEM, and I believe more work can be done to continue the efforts to grow women leaders. I also think culturally there is a barrier because women can struggle to ask for the raises and positions they deserve. In recent years there has been much more of an emphasis on empowering women, and we as women in health IT need to support and empower each other. We can encourage women around us by looking at their skills functionally in their job and pointing out the key factors that could help them branch out and grow their careers. My daughter is a nurse. When she got her BSN, I said ‘That’s a great degree for a jumping-off point to many different paths, like IT, sales, or pharmaceuticals.’So, at the end of the day, the best thing we can do is continue empowering and supporting the women around us and encouraging the next generation of young girls in STEM.”
- Q: “How do you stay grounded?”
- A: “Boundaries are the best way to stay grounded, although it’s a life’s pursuit. And learning to create and shift those boundaries as your life moves through its different seasons. If you’re a mother with young children, you must set strict boundaries, but as they get older, you become an empty nester, and new opportunities arise. You must take time to do the things you enjoy and spend time with loved ones. I feel like I do a good job taking time for myself and my family…but I could probably take a little more time for the gym.”
To stay up to date on Barbara, follow her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-casey/ . Special thanks to HIMSS for hosting the webinar and to the award winners who are driving change in the in the health IT industry. We’re excited to see what they do next!