Gateway’s ‘New Playbook’ to Address Racial Inequality
A Special Message to Members of the Community from Cain Hayes, Gateway Health President & CEO
Over the past several months, I’ve been regularly discussing my thoughts about how organizations across the business community need a “New Playbook” to address systemic racism. Recent events and the pandemic have brought these issues to the forefront of the national conversation. It’s important that Gateway Health contributes constructively to this conversation and takes the appropriate steps to help move the country forward.
At Gateway Health, we have an ambitious new mission to care for the whole person in all communities where the need is greatest. As this past year has shown, this need has never been more critical than it is today. This is especially the case with the many challenges and health disparities impacting the Black community.
With this in mind, the Gateway senior leadership team recently hosted a Town Hall for our 1,000+ associates to announce our strategy to support this important cause. As our valued stakeholders in the neighborhoods where we live and work, I would like to share our “New Playbook” to Address Racial Inequality with members of the broader Gateway community.
Leveraging our Celebrate Differences value to lead by example
Gateway will lead by example. We will leverage our role as an organization that’s dedicated to not only helping members improve their physical health, but delivering whole person care to the community we serve.
While the everyday work we are doing is helping to build a better community around us, we need to do more to drive real change to support the Black community. Given the findings of the 2019 report commissioned by the City of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission (Read the report here: Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race 2019) and recent current events highlighting the day to day extreme disparate impact systemic racism has on Blacks in our communities, we must take action immediately.
After meeting with associates and leaders from across the organization and listening to their feedback, we developed 10 clearly defined goals to support racial equality.These goals will guide us on our journey to become a more diverse and inclusive company that can serve as an example for other organizations to follow.
10 Commitments Impacting Our People*, Business Operations and Community Partnerships
We believe this plan – which focuses on a few distinct areas including our people, business operations and community partners – will drive impactful change in the communities we serve. With our sense of service and mission at our core, I’m pleased to formally introduce you to Gateway’s “New Playbook” to Address Racial Inequality.
- For our first commitment, we will work to ensure the Executive Leadership Team reflects the diversity of the membership we serve and aspire to a 25% representation of Black executives by the end of 2021.
- Second, we will work to ensure our associates in Director and above level roles reflects the diversity of the membership we serve and aspire to a 25% representation of Black executives by the end of 2022.
- Because we want to ensure those businesses who we work with share our philosophy, we are establishing diversity goals for all vendors providing services to Gateway Health of which racial diversity will be a component.
- Next up, we will develop an all new Internship Program at Gateway Health. This specifically targets Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Pennsylvania colleges/universities, including community colleges.
- Through this, we’ll develop partnerships with organizations dedicated to increasing the pipeline of Black candidates.
- We will also fund $1 million in scholarships over 10 years. The scholarships will target local colleges/universities, with an emphasis on attracting Black students from underserved areas that want to pursue a career at Gateway Health. Recipients will also be eligible to participate in the HBCU Internship Program at Gateway Health.
- For our fifth commitment, we are planning to go above and beyond our Small Diverse Business commitments and will increase the overall funds that we plan to spend with Black-owned businesses.
- Moving on, we’re planning to strengthen our care management programs that are specifically tailored to the unique health inequities and disparities faced by the Black community. This goal aims to align with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ ongoing focus on addressing racial disparities in the communities we serve.
- Next, we will establish a diversity and inclusion metric directly tied to compensation bonus payouts.
- For our eighth commitment, we will require all associates to complete an annual Unconscious Bias training. This requirement will officially start in 2021.
- We will target at least 25% of our charitable giving towards organizations that specifically address the challenges faced by impoverished Black communities.
- And for our tenth and final commitment, Gateway will develop a mentorship program for High Potential and High Performing Associates in our organization, including components focused on Black and other underrepresented groups. This program will build and develop skills that will ultimately lead to new opportunities.
Accelerating long-term change
We recognize that many of these commitments may be challenging and a significant change for our organization. However, we firmly believe these are the right steps to take in order to accelerate long-term change in our neighborhoods while prioritizing building a support system for the Black community.
We look forward to sharing regular updates regarding our progress toward meeting these goals with the Gateway community.
Stay healthy and safe,
President & CEO
*Please note that these are aspirational goals as we work to increase the diversity of our Associates to better reflect and support the communities we serve, while also meeting our obligations to make employment decisions in compliance with applicable law.