Gutierrez, Manker earn national diversity honor

Selected to 2021 ‘Top 15 Women in Power Impacting Diversity’ by DiversityPlus Magazine

Paula Gutierrez of RWJ University Hospital-Somerset and Sharon Manker of American Water were among those selected to the 2021 “Top 15 Women in Power Impacting Diversity” by DiversityPlus Magazine.

This recognition honors women across industries who have achieved success in the Supplier Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space.

The editors described the women as leaders who are passionate about making the workplace and society inclusive in the real sense of the word.

“They are the links between the vision of D&I and progress through action,” they wrote. “While open dialogue is crucial to their efforts, they also deeply believe in the importance of backing up that dialogue with measurable goals, and the implementation of strategies that go beyond talking.”

Gutierrez drives the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for RWJUH Somerset and has over 10 years of experience in health care administration. She has designed and implemented programs and strategies that foster diversity, health equity and inclusion, such as addressing health inequities and social determinants of health in marginalized communities, mitigating unconscious bias in hiring and promotion, mentoring, employee resource groups, diversity target setting and other inclusion practices.

Gutierrez also has overseen the growth of the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center, which was the first in New Jersey to offer specialized primary care services for the LGBTQ+ community and is now a model that the New Jersey Department of Health and other hospitals around the state look to emulate.

Manker is the senior diversity program lead, national supplier diversity at American Water’s Camden headquarters.

Manker supports the implementation, management and enhancement of various aspects of American Water’s Supplier Diversity Program, including policies, procedures, objectives, processes and communications to increase opportunities for, and participation with diverse suppliers.

She also helps builds relationships with key stakeholders across American Water to facilitate achievement of supplier diversity goals to include appropriate identification, qualification and inclusion of diverse suppliers.