C-suite leadership and gender equity were front and center when Brookdale President & CEO Cindy Baier addressed attendees at a Long-Term Care Symposium hosted by a major Nashville law firm in November.
On a panel with other area CEOs discussing long-term care, Cindy spoke about the silver wave of seniors who will soon need care providers. “There’s no question this will place significant pressure on our healthcare system,” she said, noting there will be strain on state budgets because of elevated healthcare burdens and lower tax revenues as retirees pay fewer taxes and spend less than younger adults do.
State governments are reducing Medicare spending by reducing reimbursements for hospital and post-acute stays and basing reimbursements on quality, not volume.
“The question we all face is how to allow seniors to live their best life possible with the most affordable cost,” Cindy said. “It is fair to say the landscape is changing significantly. Senior living is a way to help.”
On a separate symposium panel about gender equity and C-suite leadership, organizers noted that among Nashville’s 35 publicly traded companies, Cindy is one of only two female CEOs.
One fact they discussed emphasized the rarity of female chiefs in America: in America’s 500 largest companies, more CEOs are named David than are female (4.2%).
When Cindy became Brookdale’s CEO and joined the Board of Directors in February 2018, she provided the Board with a list of candidates to consider as they identified potential nominees to refresh the board. This list addressed both gender and racial diversity. As a result of the shareholder vote in October, four of eight Brookdale board members are now female and one is African-American.
“Given that about 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women, more than 75% of caregivers are female and 65% of care recipients are female, it is exciting to see our Board continue to evolve to more closely resemble our customer and employee base,” Cindy said. “Starting at the top of our organization, we are committed to performance and it is well-established that companies with diverse teams are more likely to outperform their peers.”
Other Brookdale executives who spoke on various panels throughout the day-long event were EVP & General Counsel Chad White, VP of Legal Marti Downey, and VP of Legal Tim Cesar.