WHIT Employee Resource Group Empowers the Women of CoverMyMeds
Our Women in Healthcare IT (WHIT) employee resource group’s celebrating Women’s History Month in March with weekly themes, activities and events. We’re also excited to announce the rebranding of WHIT to WE, or “Women Empowered.” The new name aims to encourage even more employees to get involved, regardless of their role at CoverMyMeds.
March is Women’s History Month — a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements women have made to the United States over the course of American history. At CoverMyMeds, it’s also a time to go a step further in recognizing our women employees, most notably through WHIT-planned activities and initiatives.
WHIT — which stands for “Women in Healthcare IT” — is our company’s largest employee resource group (ERG). Its mission is to encourage the women of CoverMyMeds through education, networking and mentorship opportunities all year long. Launched in 2016, the ERG currently has 546 members — that’s up 82% from our last count of 300 in September 2020.
Legal Operations Manager Mary Agbovi has been WHIT’s chair for two years and a member of the ERG since her first week at CoverMyMeds in August 2017. For Mary, Women’s History Month — and by extension, International Women’s Day — is a much-anticipated event.
“WHIT has always partnered with McKesson’s OWN-IT employee resource group to celebrate International Women’s Day, and 2022 will be the fourth year we’ve brought in a keynote speaker,” Mary said. “We’re planning to livestream the event at the CoverMyMeds campus. Of course, employees in other locations and remote workers can tune in, as well.”
This year’s speaker will be Valerie Alexander, a globally recognized expert on the topics of happiness in the workplace, overcoming unconscious bias and the advancement of women. The event will take place on International Women’s Day: 11 a.m. ET, Tuesday, March 8.
Big plans for Women’s History Month
One WHIT member who’s been particularly involved in 2022’s plans for Women’s History Month is Megan Schlichting, specialty pod lead and co-chair of WHIT. According to Megan, WHIT helped her find her place at CoverMyMeds.
“I have a literature background — I went to grad school for my master's degree, but I made a career shift shortly after,” Megan said. “CoverMyMeds was my first ‘corporate’ job, and I had a sense of imposter syndrome. The women of WHIT pushed me to advocate for myself and gave me confidence to pursue a leadership position within the ERG.”
As WHIT’s co-chair, Megan helped plan weekly themes for Women’s History Month. Every week, WHIT members will post links to things like Ted Talks and blog posts that speak to each theme. CoverMyMeds employees with access to Slack can participate by joining the WHIT channel, #cmm-whit. Otherwise, WHIT encourages employees to join the ERG via Affirmity.
As of publishing, March’s weekly themes are as follows:
- Week One: WHIT & OWN-IT
- Week Two: Break the Bias
- Week Three: Celebrating CoverMyMeds Women
- Week Four: Mental Health, Wellness & Self Care
- Week Five: Reclaim Your Power
“The meals will be inspired by famous women throughout history — either a recipe from that woman or food that highlights them in some way,” Megan said. “So far, the list includes Florence Nightingale, Nancy Caroline, Maya Angelou, Jessica Watkins and Henrietta Lack.”
WHIT also plans to collaborate with CoverMyMeds’ Wellness ERG for its BeWell Bingo initiative. A few bingo squares will feature WHIT-specific activities, such as “watch WHIT’s keynote speech” and “read a poem written by a woman.” Additionally, WHIT will work with CoverMyMeds’ Affinity and QCrew ERGs to promote our company-wide goal of supporting diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the month.
WHIT — now WE, for Women Empowered — is open to everyone, not just data analysts, software developers and women in tech jobs.
Welcoming a new WHIT chair
Women’s History Month is a chance to recognize our women employees, and it also marks an exciting period of transition for WHIT. After two amazing years, Mary is passing her torch to Project Manager Ariana Paulins, who will serve as the ERG’s new chair from April 1, 2022, to March 30, 2023.
“I’m honored to serve as the new chair of WHIT and to work alongside the men and women of CoverMyMeds who have a passion to see women empowered, uplifted and celebrated in the workplace,” Ariana said. “I recognize the importance of what WHIT brings to our organization, and I hope our members feel the same sense of pride I do in being part of this growing ERG.”
WHIT is also excited to announce it’s officially rebranding from “Women in Healthcare IT” to “Women Empowered,” or WE. McKesson’s OWN-IT ERG is doing the same. According to Mary, WHIT hopes the ERG’s new name will encourage even more employees to get involved.
“WHIT — now WE, for Women Empowered — is open to everyone, not just data analysts, software developers and women in tech jobs,” Mary said. “Empowering women is a goal we can all get behind — that includes men, too.”
That’s right — men, too. According to Mary, WHIT featured an all-male panel at a membership meeting in June 2021, an event they called “He for She.” During that event, the men chatted through best practices for treating and championing their women coworkers. Additionally, WHIT has men on its leadership team and had a male executive sponsor in the past.
“I love that WHIT welcomes open and candid dialogue on traditionally hard topics in the workplace,” said Michael Cohn, senior director of pharmacy product and current WHIT member. “As a father to two young daughters, it makes me extraordinary proud that CoverMyMeds invests in and promotes conversations around diversity and inclusion.”
So much of my growth at CoverMyMeds is thanks to our Mentorship Circle.
Connections through peer mentorship
One major way WHIT empowers women year-round is through its Mentorship Circle program, which is managed by Trang Do. Trang began at CoverMyMeds in 2019 as an account coordinator. Today, she’s an associate product manager — a promotion she recently earned.
“So much of my growth at CoverMyMeds is thanks to our Mentorship Circle,” Trang said. “It provides a way to meet coworkers in other business units whom you might not interact with otherwise — I’ve been able to expand my own skills through that process.”
WHIT’s Mentorship Circle puts a spin on traditional mentor/mentee programs. Instead of mentors and mentees meeting one-on-one, one to two mentors are assigned five to eight mentees, and they meet as a group. That dynamic, Trang said, allows members to experience diverse perspectives on various topics.
The Mentorship Circle operates on a six-month rotation; the next sign-up will happen in July 2022. A few months before, WHIT will put out a call for applicants. Then, it’ll be time for Trang to complete the challenging task of aligning specific topics of interest to help match mentors with their mentees.
“We want the Mentorship Circle to be a safe space for our employees to talk about anything and everything that’s going on in their lives,” Trang said. “ERGs like WHIT help connect coworkers on a deeper level, and really allow our people to express themselves fully.”
Upcoming WHIT events in 2022
Looking ahead at other events in 2022, WHIT — or WE — is excited for another iteration of Stand Against Racism Challenge: A Virtual Community of Growth, previously known as the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge.
This year’s event — which kicks off in April 2022 — will challenge employees with a daily activity such as reading an article, listening to a podcast or reflecting on a personal experience to help discover how racial and social injustice impact our community.
Additionally, our WHIT and Wellness ERGs will team up for the second year in a row to plan Father’s and Mother’s Day campaigns — a unique way to honor our employees who are parents.
Our ERGs are among the many ways CoverMyMeds empowers employees to be themselves, and we’re excited to celebrate WHIT and its members this March — and throughout the rest of the year.
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