Health Net's Martha Santana-Chin Shines at Women's Leadership Event
On Wednesday, March 3, 2023 the Hilton Universal City Hotel played host to the VICA Extraordinary Women event. The event featured a panel of Southern California's most influential women in business and government. Among the featured speakers was Health Net's own Medi-Cal President, Martha Santana-Chin.
The panelists mainly discussed how they got to where they were in their careers and gave advice for other women looking to follow their paths to success. When it was Martha's turn to present her story, she didn't disappoint.
"I would call my story one of necessity and opportunity," Martha began. "I worked my way through high school to help my family – and did the same in college."
Martha went on to explain that one of her early jobs was as a temp – typing a business plan for the company's CEO. One thing led to another, and she ended up working at that company for 15 years.
"That set the trajectory for the rest of my career," Martha recalled. "Growing up all I wanted to do was to get through college, help my family and get out of poverty. I never would have imagined I'd be running the programs I am today."
The discussion then took a turn toward how to deal with career wins and failures – more specifically turning failure into success. A pivotal point in her career came when she was passed up for a promotion and didn't react well.
"I let the emotions get the best of me. I ended up losing the trust that I worked so hard to earn with the folks I worked for. I made mistakes, and it impacted the way I was assessed," she recalled.
Over time, she left the job – but there was a silver lining. She felt something inside her had changed. A broader perspective was beginning to take hold. Soon she began to realize that career growth and opportunity is something that can be gained with an all-inclusive mindset.
"That [experience] will always stay with me. There was a lot I could have learned from the person who did get promoted," Martha said. "Learning from the people you report to and the people around you is really critical. And if you take to heart everyone else's perspectives and strengths, it can help you get ahead…[But] don't lose site of who you are."