With Women at the Helm
Over the past year, PIVOT has undergone a number of significant, exciting transitions. As a team that places high value on humility, solidarity, and the pursuit of learning, we do our best to pause at every crossroad to reflect on the opportunities they present for our organization to both improve its impact in Madagascar and contribute to the betterment of the global health field more broadly.
Women are vastly under-represented in leadership in the field of global health. Worldwide, nearly 70% of health workers are women, playing essential roles in delivery of care on the front lines of their communities. By contrast, barely one third of positions of influence are occupied by women in the field of global health.
In two recent opportunities we’ve had to optimize our leadership team, we embraced the idea that, if we want to see change toward a more equitable global society, we should exemplify that vision. So, by a combination of strategy and good fortune, we’ve found ourselves well-positioned to amplify women’s voices in the tier of global health decision-makers in PIVOT’s two most senior staff positions.
One year ago, in September 2018, Tara Loyd took her seat as our Executive Director. After five years of working with PIVOT founders to build our operations in Madagascar from the ground up, Tara’s academic training, combined practical experience in the field with Partners In Health in Lesotho and Malawi, made her the perfect fit for leading the charge toward achieving health for all in Ifanadiana District. Tara’s co-director and PIVOT co-founder, Matt Bonds continues his key role with PIVOT as our Scientific Director.
Read more about that transition in a reflection from co-founder Robin Herrnstein, here.
Then, this summer, the opportunity to identify PIVOT’s next Country Director produced a lead candidate that our board and leadership team knew could lead our teams on the ground with unparalleled clarity and vision. As of August 2019, Laura Cordier, whose time with PIVOT is also measured from its earliest days, is spearheading our team of nearly 200 staff in Ifanadiana District and working hand-in-hand with Tara to lead the organization.
As one of the first hires to arrive in Madagascar in 2014, Laura created from scratch the strategy and personnel that constitute our Monitoring & Evaluation team, which collects, manages, and analyzes PIVOT’s thousands of health indicators. With over five years spent living in Ranomafana and completely immersing herself in PIVOT’s work as well as the communities we serve, Laura’s intimate knowledge about the population’s needs and our program’s strengths and flaws is truly singular. Data is the lifeblood of PIVOT’s work, and we regard Laura’s exceptional depth of understanding of it as absolutely crucial as we ramp up efforts to reach more people, further, faster, and even better.
Read more about Laura’s first five years with PIVOT as M&E director, here.
“We believe the future of leadership in health care needs to reflect the diversity of its global workforce,” says Tara. Contributing further to this, we are proud to say that, as of this summer, 7 of PIVOT’s 12 director-level positions are occupied by women, as are 21 of 40 manager- and supervisor-level roles.
At this exciting time of opportunity and hope for the future, we have our minds on equity across all lines – including gender, nationality, age, and experience – for the good of our patients and the ambitions of our organization. By working toward equitable gender representation in leadership, PIVOT looks forward to demonstrating how the diversification of decision-making bodies can increase programmatic impact to better serve rural communities most in need. Thank you for walking this walk with us.