Women in Healthcare Leadership

Diversity should be at the top of every healthcare organization’s priorities. However, recent findings from Doximity show the opposite is trending in the healthcare industry, at least when it comes to women in healthcare leadership. Doximity’s second Physician Compensation Report found that the wage gap between female and male doctors did not improve year-over-year. Instead, it increased from 26.5 to 27.7%. What does this mean for your healthcare organization? It means that if you put a strong focus on diversity, your organization will reap significant benefits. Let’s explore why this is so.

How Focusing on The Gender Gap In Healthcare Can Benefit Your Healthcare Organization

Healthcare Search Firms for Gender Diversity
How focusing on gender diversity can help your healthcare organization

Before we move forward, it is important to note that this study consisted of a robust sample of physicians. The responses came from over 65,000 US doctors across 50 metro areas in the USA. In short, female doctors are being grossly underpaid. Not only are female doctors not being paid more than their male counterparts, but they are also making less than all male doctors across the country.

Women in healthcare leadership are more than underpaid, they are also significantly underrepresented. According to a study by Rock Health, of the top 100 U.S. hospitals, women make up 32% of executives and a mere 11% of CEOs.

Physician compensation will become more and more important each year, especially when considering predicted doctor shortages and issues with healthcare talent turnover. A recent survey found that ⅓ of US healthcare organizations are facing challenges when filling top leadership and c-suite positions.

Why will a focus on diversity in healthcare hiring, particularly on women in healthcare leadership have a positive effect on health organizations? At the end of 2017, The the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) reported that more women than men are enrolled in medical schools in the USA. Healthcare organizations who do not put an emphasis on making themselves attractive to this talent pool are going to have a challenging time placing talent in the future.

How Healthcare Organizations Can Make Themselves More Attractive to Female Talent

It makes sense to start by offering fair and attractive salaries to all applicants. But in order to woo this demographic, they need to think outside the box. Here are a few places where healthcare organizations can stand above the rest:

Put a Strong Sexual Harassment Policy in Place

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw over 3,000 sexual harassment claims come in from those in general medical and surgical hospitals.  That is just one sector of healthcare. There were 1,911 sexual harassment claims in ambulatory care services, 1,530 in nursing care facilities, 382 in physician offices, and 314 in home healthcare services. By creating an environment where talent feels safe, you can both attract talent and prevent turnover.

Create Paths to Leadership and Growth

Put in programs to encourage people within your organization to grow. This includes incentives such as leadership training, career coaching, formal mentorships, and sponsorship programs. Above all, make sure that your team is allotted both the time and financial backing to join these programs and to attend industry conferences.

Add Family Friendly Perks

When asked about the things they are most looking for in an employer, women often point to a work-life balance. Women are looking for flexibility in hours and the ability to work from home (especially when working on tasks that do not require them to be at their physical location). If your organization is looking to stand out from the rest, look at benefits and perks such as child care, fertility assistance, and longer parental leave regardless of gender.

Bring Your Healthcare Female Leaders to the Spotlight

Women feel underrepresented in positions of power. By placing strong female leaders in-sight – on your website, at conferences, and in news articles –  you will send a strong signal that women have the capability of advancing at your healthcare organization, that their growth path will not be hindered by their gender.

How Summit Talent Group Can Help You Build a Strong and Diverse Leadership Team

At Summit Talent Group, we are fully committed to diversity hiring in all aspects. In fact, two of our key recruiters, Joann and Mary Louise, are both female leaders who are heads of their households. Our boutique executive search firm specializes only in healthcare. Because our team comes from the industry, we understand the nuances that affect how hospitals and healthcare organizations run. We’d love to speak to you about your particular needs and tell you more about how we can help. Contact us here.