Women in Leadership: Are Women in Healthcare Better Off?

By: Lisa Mead, Founder, Arizona Women in Healthcare

More than 13% of the US labor force currently work in healthcare, and jobs in this sector are projected to grow more than twice as fast as the general economy by 2020. Women make up 80% of healthcare workers, earn 84% of bachelor’s degrees in the health professions and comprise more than half of the enrolled medical students. Why, then, do women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting? There is a pressing need to do more, and healthcare as an industry is among those that need more women leaders.

The 2017 Rock Health State of Women in Healthcare Survey reported that not a single woman serves as CEO of a Fortune 500 healthcare company and nor do they have executive team gender balance. Women are well represented in the healthcare workforce—just not at the top. At a leadership level, it will take twenty-five years to reach gender parity for senior-VPs and more than one hundred years at the C-suite level.  That is way too long!

While commitment to gender diversity is high, organizations need to make a significant and sustained investment to change company practices and culture so women can achieve their full potential. Arizona healthcare organizations will benefit from having more women in top leadership roles.  Diversity leads to stronger business results, as numerous studies have shown, and women have the skills to lead.

Arizona Women in Healthcare, Inc. is partnering with non-profit Take The Lead to provide women the tools to claim their power and create diverse conversations that advance our careers and move our businesses forward. Join 50 Women Can Change the World.

The program’s curriculum addresses women’s ambivalent relationship with power, dealing with internal as well as external barriers, and changing the equation from the outdated “power OVER” to a more current, collaborative and creative “power TO,” an approach better suited to the very women’s leadership styles that are bringing higher profits to businesses.

Developing female leaders is imperative for organizations that want to perform at the highest levels. Arizona healthcare organizations will benefit from setting a goal of leadership parity by 2025. Now is the time to develop women leaders and 50 Women Can Change the World will do just that. Register now for our program that begins in April 2019. Our healthcare organizations need more women on their leadership teams in the C-Suite and the board room so we can fill the pipeline for future positions. Women in healthcare may not be better off but they have all the opportunity to recognize they have the Power to change the world and improve healthcare.

About the Author:

Lisa Mead, RN, MS, CHPC, CPHQ

For more than 30 years, Lisa has worked in healthcare, first as a registered nurse providing nursing care and then as a leader in a variety of healthcare settings. Currently, Lisa is a healthcare consultant and leadership coach providing services across the country. She is the founder of Crowne Healthcare Advisors and Arizona Women in Healthcare. As part of her commitment to developing leaders, she is a Leadership Ambassador for Take The Lead, a nonprofit focused on leadership parity by 2025.

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