Tina Moore Gilbert: Expanding the Possibilities of Inclusion and Diversity

Tina Moore Gilbert was recently named by FindSpark as one of the “30 Must-Follow Diversity & Inclusion Thought Leaders Transforming the Workplace.” FindSpark is a community created for young professionals and the employers who hire them.

Tina Gilbert, Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Accolade

Tina Gilbert, Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Accolade

The recognition comes as no surprise to those who watched Tina lay the foundation for new ways of thinking and working as Inclusion and Diversity Leader for Teva Pharmaceuticals between 2013 and 2017. Nor does it surprise her colleagues at Accolade, where Tina has been at work since June in the same capacity.

But Tina’s influential role in this field is, in fact, the result of a major career pivot—a decision made close to five years ago to leave a 14-year tenure as a partner at Accenture focused on Brand Management and Commercial Operations for pharmaceutical companies. She held a MBA in Strategic Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and multiple degrees in Engineering. She had a passion for inclusion and diversity and a desire to do more and effect more change. Her pharmaceutical expertise gave her a bridge into Teva. There, she dug in—changing the language of employee discourse, expanding perspectives, building foundational programs to create the company’s Inclusion and Diversity platform. Tina reflects, “At Teva, I made sure we called it “Inclusion and Diversity,” putting the word ‘Inclusion’ first to emphasize that an inclusive culture was our ultimate goal. After five years the organization was using the same language and led with those behaviors.”

The continuing news stories of Silicon Valley companies, like Facebook and Google, still struggling with issues of inclusion and diversity sparked Tina’s next career move. How was it that these companies—founded when diversity and inclusion were very much top of mind—were facing many of the same issues faced by companies with long-entrenched cultures? What might be done for companies still forging their ideals and frameworks to set them on a persistently right path? What early activities and interventions could help a company steer clear of common diversity pitfalls and inclusionary land mines?

What might be done, say, for a company like Accolade—10 years old, 850-people strong, and still in the process of building sustainable systems?

Since June, Tina has gained a rapid foothold on the questions and opportunities that face Accolade, where she has discovered “a warm and welcoming culture—a place where there are strong areas of inclusion that, because they have not been fully connected, have created pockets of exclusion.”

Left unaddressed, Tina says, these pockets of exclusion could become bigger concerns and sidetrack a company whose mission is to reinvent the healthcare experience for everyone. Tina is already at work identifying “unintentional mistakes” that impact culture, and building programs that can and will correct them.

But there is far more that can be done, Tina says. “One of the reasons I took this job is because Accolade’s leadership strongly believes that inclusion and diversity is not just a business imperative for talent engagement and management. It is also a strategy that can help us address disparities in healthcare and disrupt the status quo. I share that belief and find the possibilities incredibly exciting.”

Tina Gilbert family

Tina Gilbert and family

What would happen, she wonders, if Accolade, in its quest to get even better at delivering positive healthcare outcomes, studied healthcare outcomes disparity through the diversity lens? What if Accolade developed tools and analytics that enabled its Health Assistants to better understand cultural nuances in healthcare navigation and consumption? If Accolade’s understanding of cultural norms was enhanced in ways that enabled us to analyze how and why people of different cultures seek out healthcare services? If Accolade built even stronger relationships focused on how individuals defined themselves?

It’s possible to develop tools and mine our data in ways that allow us to both positively affect existing disparities for the insured and gain insights to help the disenfranchised,” says Tina. “There is so much more that we can do to become culturally competent in healthcare navigation and impact our individual members’ health outcomes.”

As a former marketing consultant focused on great business outcomes, Tina is passionately determined “to link internal human capital strategies with go-to-market strategies” that will affect not just one growing business but, potentially, disrupt healthcare disparities.

“If we do things right early at Accolade from an inclusion and diversity perspective, we won’t be facing the issues many companies face as we grow and scale,” says Tina. “If we do inclusive healthcare right, we’ll be doing even more to positively impact healthcare outcomes across the full spectrum of families.

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