Women's Leadership Initiative


The Women's Leadership Initiative at WMCHealth was created to further develop high­ performing/high-potential mid-level female employees and help grow our leadership pipeline with efficient, effective and fulfilled women.


The Inaugural event kicked off with a series of forums hosted by ten female senior leaders and attended by over 150 women throughout the Network. The executives participated in a moderated panel discussion and shared insights about their career paths and the successes and challenges they have faced on their personal and professional journeys. After the forums, women interested in joining a six-month professional development cohort series led by female senior leaders submitted an application which included a written essay detailing why they wanted to participate in the program, a phone interview and manager approval. The program was designed to develop and enhance leadership and interpersonal management skills and to increase organizational visibility and engagement with senior leadership. The curriculum addressed areas that research indicates could potentially be causing a lack of advancement for women, specifically:

  • Personal Branding
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Resilience
  • Networking

Over the course of the program, participants engaged in transformative dialogue and explored shared challenges with cohort-driven support, guidance and feedback.


By October 2018, 30 women successfully completed 14 hours of networking and attended six leadership assignments. In March 2019, two new cohorts will be launched throughout the Network to coincide with National Women's History Month. The development of this diverse talent has led to the creation of an Emerging Leader Talent Pool that will be leveraged as a component of the recruiting and talent management process. Additionally, the female executives who participated in the cohort have expressed an interest in creating further mentorship opportunities and have come away with a renewed sense of personal accomplishment and commitment to their own continued development.


Mecca E. Santana, Senior Vice President Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (WMCHealth)


Promoting health equity, reducing health disparities, increasing access and opportunities and fostering an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all are facets of healthcare transformation that WMCHealth has enthusiastically embraced.

When initially approached about taking part in the CEO in Action Pledge, it seemed like a natural extension of the work that WMCHealth has been doing in the diversity and inclusion space over the past few years. I look forward to joining the ranks of my fellow CEOs who have already taken this pledge and continue to make important strides that have improved their organizations, as well as their business outcomes. 

Michael D. Israel
President and CEO Westchester Medical Center Health Network
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