Roles for Women
According to a study by Pepperdine University, a very strong positive correlation exists between promoting women to executive roles and profitability. This research was performed over 19 years with the cooperation of over 200 firms on the Fortune 500. When considering specifically healthcare companies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women fill less than 20% of key leadership positions even though 80% of the healthcare workforce is female. This is a great incentive to be proactive to create a welcoming environment to bring gender diversity to the leadership team. To test the climate toward promoting women check how many of these tactics are in place in your organization. Then add the rest to upgrade your succession and or developmental plans for female leaders.
Developing Female Healthcare Leaders
- Set stretch projects that broaden the technical reach and build presentation skills
- Bring in executive presence training
- Start a women’s leadership programs with top executive sponsorship
- Create strengths-based professional development plans
- Set goals around promoting women within your organization and assign ownership to the executive team
- Identify women in the company who are capable now to fill leadership roles now and champion their success
As you prepare to embark on the journey to create a thriving space for female leaders, begin the process by scheduling unconscious bias training for all organizational leaders, male and female. This levels the playing field because biases don’t discriminate; we all have some. Sometimes, we just don’t realize that a bias is influencing choices and behaviors. That is why it is called “unconscious bias” and it is a must for any organization that wants to promote diversity in the leadership ranks. Transparency is also extremely important in creating a more accepting culture. It is important to provide a feedback loop as part of leadership development. Add a 360-degree feedback program to the plan that specifically highlights women’s strengths and opportunities for them to grow in leadership effectiveness. This will support goals that build on strengths as opposed to fixing weaknesses. Be sure to pair developmental projects with goals to make them actionable, build confidence, and provide executive exposure for high-potential females.
When an opening arises, commit to interview and consider at least one qualified female candidate. This promise is growing among industries although it may have several different names. The NFL calls it the Rooney rule, while healthcare, technology, and numerous other industries have committed to diversifying with a Parity Agreement. In fact, among Payers, Hospitals, Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Equipment & Health Technology, and Medical Professionals there are 93 companies listed on parity.org with the promise to interview and consider at least one qualified woman for every open role, VP and higher, including the C-Suite and the Board. Parity.org has also created a Best Companies for Women to Advance™ list to recognize organizations that have benefits, policies, and programs that are particularly beneficial for women to advance in the workplace. Six healthcare companies appear on this list.
At Xavier Creative House we believe the business case for increasing the number of women in healthcare leadership brings innovation to the industry and is a must for healthcare companies that want to remain competitive. As a women-owned business certified with WBENC since 2015, we take sustainability seriously. It goes beyond gender to include all races and orientations, and it goes beyond labor to include the environment, ethics, and hiring sustainable suppliers. We welcome you to join us online for thought leadership that promotes the best in healthcare including our latest podcast that celebrates women in leadership.