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Women Transforming Health Care: Shayna Schulz

'Equality is a multi-generational effort and it takes all of us. While we have made progress, there is so much more to do,' Schulz says
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Shayna Schulz is senior vice president, enterprise transformation, at Blue Shield of California. Shayna and her team are committed to transforming the customer experience and delivering on the company’s promise of a high-quality, exceptional member experience while also driving systemwide savings that can be reinvested in new, innovative healthcare services. Schulz brings nearly two decades of insurance experience, ranging from customer service and corporate communications to business development and sales.

Why did you choose to make your career in health care?
I actually spent the first half of my career outside of health care. When the opportunity arose at Blue Shield, the company’s mission resonated with me. At that point in my career, I was tired of the abrasion the quarterly earning cycles had on our customers and realized that profits would always supersede the needs of customers in a for-profit environment. My personal values didn’t align with that – I wanted to be part of team that was actively trying to make the world a better place. Health care is an industry with enormous opportunities to transform for the better and it felt like a great place to devote my energies.


Who are women that inspire you and why?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Michelle Obama

Oprah Winfrey

All three have helped shift mindsets around what leadership looks like – not just for women, but everyone. They each have demonstrated extraordinary courage and perseverance and have ultimately committed to making the world a better place.

How can we/ how do you support the next generation of women leaders?
I am the executive sponsor of our employee resource group, Elevating Women, which provides a platform for women, and men, to have conversations on what it takes to create and support women in leadership. I also personally mentor several women. I think it is critically important to have honest, ongoing conversations with each other about the sometimes unhelpful internal dialogues all women have that can get in our way.

What challenges do we still need to overcome to achieve equality?
Blue Shield does an exemplary job of gender pay parity – in fact, we have been recognized for it. That said, equality is a multi-generational effort and it takes all of us. While we have made progress, there is so much more to do. The more we can create visible role models for female leaders, the easier it will be for our daughters to see themselves in that capacity. 

How has the Covid-19 outbreak changed the way you lead?
I have had to be more mindful that my team (and I) take time off. I underestimated the value of the transition that a commute can provide between work and home, and we can burn out quickly if we are not intentional with self-care. I have also had to adjust to my idea of a meeting – at first, I resisted the webcam, but now I rely on it and ask my team to do so as well. It is the most powerful tool we have to stay connected remotely.