Our exclusive series of interviews on women leaders in the ILTC industry ends with our own Hila Zadka-Schuldiner, Head of Data Research, Analysis and Reporting at Assured Allies. Hila is dedicated to data-based decision-making and that is a big part of why she mentors and encourages future women leaders in the field: they make a proven difference! Find out why and more in this brief interview.
How long have you been in the LTC space and what attracted you to pursue this career path?
I started working in the LTC space when I joined AssuredAllies four years ago. However, I have long been interested in the health of older adults and preventative medicine. Previously, as a researcher in the public healthcare system in Israel, I explored how we can help the aging population live more independently and maintain a high quality of life.
Did you have any female role models? How did they support your career growth?
My mom is one of my main female role models. In her own career path, she was always a true feminist — not only pursuing and achieving senior management roles herself but breaking glass ceilings and opening doors for other smart and talented women.
Have you been a mentor? How have you helped an aspiring female professional pursue a career in long-term care insurance?
In most of my roles as a researcher, I was a mentor to more junior researchers, many of whom were women. Some women find it challenging to express their professional views assertively. I made sure they felt comfortable offering their opinion and made it clear that their views were valued.
Can you share any memorable experiences or instances where your influence has brought about positive change in the industry?
I am a strong advocate for data-driven decision-making, even though it can sometimes cause friction when I need to delay a decision in order to make full use of the unique data at our disposal and translate it into actionable insights. I am happy to work at a company that is deeply committed to a data-driven approach in its culture and day-to-day practice.
How do you envision the future of female representation in the industry, and what steps do you believe should be taken to further promote gender equality and inclusivity?
I believe that having the right female role models within the company is crucial, especially, in management and leadership roles. Based on my experience, I can say that in general women act differently during interviews than men. For example, they might take some time to think about their answer, and it is important to give them enough time in an interview to allow them to shine. From my point of view as a manager, this lets me reliably test their fit for the role. I am proud and happy to manage a diverse team: five awesome researchers, three of whom are women (definitely the best team ever). We already know (based on research!) that diverse voices in strategic discussions raise diverse considerations that otherwise might have been overlooked, and therefore that diversity leads to better decisions overall.
I think it is also important to stress that a female point of view in our company is critical as we are working with an aging population and therefore the majority of our members are women. Women have different interests and inclinations when it comes to their physical and mental health, and so having women on my research team, as well as in key positions at Assured Allies as a whole, is very important for our success as a company.