Celebrating Women’s History Month 2024: Shannon McFarland

March 18, 2024

Women’s History Month reminds us that making connections is an important first step to take in advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Many times, those connections are personal and influence our professional perspective. Such is the case for Shannon McFarland, senior director, of engagement and insights for Morrison Healthcare:

“I’ve worked at Morrison Healthcare/Compass One Healthcare for sixteen years and have enjoyed every moment of my journey! I believe that each person’s life path is unique. Our backgrounds and experiences shape us and affect how we show up every day.

“Joining the Compass One Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion Action Council (DIAC) was at a crucial turning point in my life. At this time, my daughter had just been diagnosed with Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes her body’s immune system to attack her healthy tissues. Today, she confidently embraces her beautiful bald head and radiates a sweet, sassy, strong spirit. Although most days are good, some days can be challenging.

“Her story is part of my story. Our journey with her disease and being part of the DIAC has inspired me to help create places where everyone has a voice, a space, and belongs – no matter their story. We can’t necessarily check our story at the door, but we can help foster places and spaces where our associates feel safe to bring their whole selves to work.

“At Compass One, we are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all employees. To support our commitment, we developed the Power of One Toolkit and the Inclusion Ambassador program to raise awareness about the value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our business. These toolkits educate our managers and associates about various cultures and allow us to foster an inclusive, respectful, and diverse workplace where everyone feels they belong. Our people matter, and when we create a culture where people feel like they belong, they can pour their energy and best selves into the patients and guests we serve in our hospital communities.

“I firmly believe that when you know better, you can do better. I encourage you not to make assumptions – learn more about people – you’ll be surprised by what you discover when you take the time to connect. Be curious, smile, and be kind. These small things can make a significant impact on someone’s day.”