Narrowing Gender-Based Gaps in Healthcare Leadership
The healthcare industry still leaves female physicians struggling more than their male counterparts. The challenges they deal with include promotion and payment gaps to implicit bias and sexual harassment. While it is disappointing, you cannot deny the fact that only a small portion of female physicians become medical leaders despite equal numbers of both sexes graduating from medical school. If you look at US healthcare statistics, women comprise only 9% as division chiefs, 6% as department chairs, 3% as healthcare CEOs, and 3% as chief medical officers. These numbers are regardless of the fact that over 80% of the healthcare workforce is made up of women. You can still expect the same numbers though there is evidence that when women are placed on corporate boards and in upper management, there are both enhanced accountability and improved financial performance.
If you look at these numbers, you will learn that the healthcare system needs better female physician representation. The methods of narrowing gender-based gaps in healthcare leadership are still unclear provided the many challenges that female physicians still face. Nonetheless, there are promising areas of the healthcare industry that would help women secure a higher spot. There are areas that organizations should take careful note if they want to promote women in the industry.
Organizations must carefully assess specific areas in healthcare so female physicians will get equal leadership opportunities as male physicians in the industry. In order for healthcare organizations to progress in these efforts, they have to check with their leadership and how they represent women. They can also benefit more when they understand workplace experience of female physicians and how it compares to those of their male counterparts. Quantification is the key to change in gender roles and imbalances. For instance, charters should give recognition to women who advance their education and research efforts. Depending on how women meet the organization’s requirements, their affiliated institutions may receive gold, silver, or bronze awards. Institutions can qualify for health research funding if they get a silver award. This kind of recognition means the organization is more aware of diversity and gender issues. These efforts can help catalyze cultural and structural changes and create financial and numerical incentives for change. The result is providing female researchers increased career support.
Female physicians often find themselves having a hard time receiving major recognition and awards compared to their male counterparts. This creates a clear association with their promotions. With systematization, the organization applies equitable recognition of female and male achievement. According to research, gender gaps in terms of recognition exist during the early stages of the female physician’s career. You can help narrow these gender-biased gaps by offering systematic publicity and identification of their achievements. You can use this concept on a much more full scale. Systematizing appointment of physicians to committees, nomination for increased responsibility and leadership roles, and search processes are some other examples.