The 10 Most Admired Women Leaders in Business to F...

Erin S. Gore: Facilitates Complex Initiatives and Engagements to Advance Health Locally and Globally

The 10 Most Admired Women Leaders in Business to Follow, 2023

Business alignment is a method employed by corporations to enhance communication between divisions and streamline operational processes. Companies can eliminate inefficiencies, coordinate an approach that meets their long-term objectives, and better serve their varied businesses by strategically aligning their operations. Employees can stay more connected and current with an organization’s increased emphasis on openness and collaboration. However, attaining complete and successful collaboration requires work from everyone in the business, at all levels. When teams are strategically aligned and aware of the larger initiatives they are working on, they are more motivated and cooperative. The workplace of the future is here, and it’s more crucial than ever to monitor team collaboration, particularly when working remotely and across departments. Erin S. Gore, Senior Vice Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), seeks opportunities for improved alignment within the organization so that they can work together for the benefit of the people UCSF serves. 

The Road to UCSF 

Erin S. Gore, a native of Oakland, received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She participates actively in her neighbourhood and lends her knowledge to numerous boards and non-profits that deserve it. 

She has over 20 years of experience as a seasoned executive working in financial strategy for Fortune 100 companies and top ten colleges. Gore served as the Executive Vice President of Growth Initiatives, Strategy, and Communications at Wells Fargo Bank before joining UCSF. Her work as the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Finance Officer for the University of California, Berkeley, served as the foundation for her extensive knowledge of financial management and administration. She worked closely with academics, staff, students, deans, administrators, and Regents while specializing in operating budget creation and implementation, capital project planning and budgeting, debt financing, treasury duties, sponsored research administration, and general administration. She has been leading and facilitating extremely complex programs and engagements to enhance health locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally since February 2022 while holding the position of Senior Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration at UCSF. 

As a Senior Vice Chancellor 

The guiding principle at UC San Francisco is that significant discoveries are made when the best patient care, education, and research come together. The top-ranked professional and graduate schools, medical centre, research programs, and support staff collaborate to help us seek this integrated excellence with a single-minded focus. The University of California, San Francisco, is the second largest employer in San Francisco and an academic medical centre and health sciences institution including a top-ranked medical school and hospital. It also receives the most NIH funds for its research. It’s a dynamic environment where health equity is prioritized while increasing health globally. 

Being the CFO of the University of California Berkeley and a member of Fiat Lux, the largest captive insurance board in the United States for the University of California campuses and medical institutions, Erin joined UCSF to combine her passion and career in a setting she was already familiar with. The job has many responsibilities, including those in IT, finance, human resources, real estate, facilities, transportation, and public safety. She is the one who helps lead the organization and funds its priorities as the operations and finance leader. She must constantly consider possibilities to reconsider and dismantle discriminatory structures, practices, and processes. 

Stance on Teamwork 

Collaboration at all organizational levels is crucial, from corporate leadership to keeping an eye on what the front-line staff members require to serve the community. When Erin started at UCSF, she told the leaders, “I resist communication by hierarchy. I want to go directly to the people who are doing the work, and I invite all levels of staff to contact me directly.” 

She much prefers to view her job as a team sport. She does her best problem-solving in groups. Her life has always been centred around sports. She captained the swim team in high school, had the good fortune to participate in water polo at UCLA, and has continued to swim in open waters. One of her team members provided a nice quote in a recent staff article. He claimed that each player on a football team has a distinct responsibility. If everyone does their duty, the team will succeed as a whole. She explains, “He translated that experience into his work life, and that spoke to my personal experiences as well.”   

Lesson from Bottlenecks     

Working with people is one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of public service. Erin has developed emotional intelligence through her very visible professions in banking and higher education, helping her to understand that people’s resistance to change and new ideas can’t be taken personally. She realized the significance of reaching an agreement and buy in to new ways of solving problems and meeting community needs. 

Erin has no qualms about upsetting broken systems, data and unsustainable silo’d technology.  Pace and difficult trade-offs must be discussed in an open manner. Who are the folks who will speak the harsh facts, point out unintended consequences, and declare things aren’t going well? How do we make room for dissenting viewpoints and diverse perspectives? How can we make judgments more quickly? 

The pandemic has altered people’s lives. The day before the first day of the COVID lockdown, Erin gave birth to her baby and adjusted to both being a mom to a teenager and a baby during COVID homebound status. Like so many, this required new skills – especially around schooling, while managing a remote staff.  Similarly, the pandemic has an impact on every aspect of work at UCSF, including patient care, research, emergency management, telework, and physical space. The pandemic showed that anyone can be nimble when under pressure. It also brought attention to data and system gaps, as well as the strain placed on individuals when they are required to fill gaps on top of their regular day jobs. 

Racial Equity Supporter 

Planning and operations may become chaotic due to environmental uncertainty. Concerns over inflation and a potential recession are widespread. There will be difficulties as the team negotiate the ongoing volatility since it is seeing unprecedented amounts of change. The pandemic opened doors for digital change and new forms of collaboration at the same time. Erin thinks there is a huge chance to use this time of change end institutional racism, its devastating impacts on people and families as well as open up wonderful chances for a more diverse workforce, particularly in finance. 

Recently, the world has changed both as a result of the pandemic and out of exhaustion from the negative effects of systemic racism. The call to action from Erin’s large finance and administrative team is to improve team member involvement and reenergize their large community to support anti-racism on all levels. It enables them to go farther in their understanding of where systematic racism at UCSF exists, where it results in demoralizing outcomes, and where practices, processes, and policies may be changed to end it. 

Mission Plan by Gore 

Today, UCSF’s public mission extends beyond San Francisco and has a significant impact on both the national and international levels by developing novel approaches to providing healthcare for the most vulnerable people on the planet, educating the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and scientists, promoting elementary and secondary school education, and transforming scientific advancements into improved health for all. The ability to observe the immediate results of their efforts is one of the benefits of working at UCSF. Although Erin and her teams are not directly involved in patient care, research, or teaching, the success of those fields depends on the support services provided by the teams. They aid employees in comprehending how their work affects the mission. Three times a year, Erin hosts town hall meetings where she welcomes influential UCSF officials for a fireside chat to discuss their work and take questions from the audience. 

Futuristic Vision 

Erin S. Gore frequently concentrates more on how she is acting as a leader at any given time than on a long-term goal. How is she carrying herself today? Erin aspires to be personable and transparent. She identified herself as a change-maker. She is an organizer who is results oriented. She wants to keep all effects, particularly those on individuals, front and centre. Erin thinks it’s important to acknowledge that change may be difficult for people, and she thinks that being transparent can go a long way toward getting teams on board. 

Erin counsels the upcoming generation of female financial executives to get involved in these challenging issues. She believes it will broaden your horizons and broaden your experiences. She urges individuals to form their own teams and to avoid taking on too much work that might lessen their impact. 

She adds, “You need to be seen as exceptional. Make sure you deliver.”