Throughout March, UnitedHealth Group and its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses are celebrating Women’s History Month under the theme, #SheInspiresMe. The celebration is designed to recognize women’s unique achievements and encourage all team members to identify ways to build a culture of inclusion throughout the company. A signature component of the month will be celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 and amplifying the #EachforEqual message.
“I am proud to work together with the 325,000 people of UnitedHealth Group to advance our mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone,” said Jennifer Whitlow, senior vice president, chief communications officer, UnitedHealth Group. “It is the diversity of our team — their backgrounds, experiences and perspectives — that drives our continued success, which is why I’m excited to share in celebrating the many meaningful contributions that the women of UnitedHealth Group have made to our company.”
In the spirit of celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, here are inspiring words from a few of the many women who lead UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare and Optum.
Chief Operating Officer, UnitedHealthcare Government Programs, Benefit Operations
Rashmita Mistry is the chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Government Programs, Benefit Operations. She believes that by enriching the lives of the people we serve we build better organizations that can drive distinctive societal return. Rashmita empowers her teams to operate with a growth mindset and to fail and ideate often while taking responsibility and pride in the work they do. She removes hierarchy, rolls up her sleeves and works hand-in-hand with colleagues toward common goals. Rashmita believes that being your most authentic self, with a deep desire to learn from and care for others, is the key to personal and professional growth. “It’s about perfecting your craft, learning often and helping others rise,” she says. “What a great responsibility we have to serve, humanize our environment and be excellent stewards of our people.”
Chief Executive Officer, Surgical Care Affiliates
Caitlin Zulla joined Optum’s Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) in 2015 and serves as chief executive officer. She credits her success and leadership growth in large part to her willingness to do the hard things. She coaches her team that when they’re tired, scared or unsure, they need to remember to do what no one else is doing. “The hard things that have helped me advance include learning to operate in worlds of gray, getting comfortable with the vulnerability that comes with asking questions and approaching change with flexibility,” she said.
Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, UnitedHealth Group
Jennifer Whitlow was appointed senior vice president and chief communications officer, UnitedHealth Group, in 2019. She is driven by her desire to make a meaningful difference in the world — at work, at home, in her community or for our nation. That’s why she has always been drawn to work and volunteer for companies and leaders that have a meaningful mission and purpose. “Health care is one of the most meaningful and personal aspects of our society and I’m excited to be a part of it,” she said. “UnitedHealth Group has a meaningful mission and strong values that align with my own.” She also believes in lifelong learning and always trying to say “yes” to new opportunities for personal and professional growth. Her advice to future women leaders: “Aspiration is personal and can only be determined by you. It should never be defined, shaped or limited by anyone — society, family or friends.”
Women’s History Month (March) and International Women’s Day (March 8) are annual dates that celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements and advance gender parity. For details, visit WomensHistoryMonth.gov and InternationalWomensDay.com.