4 Ways Hospitals Can Foster More Female Leadership

A blog post from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership lists four evidence-based practices that can help narrow the gender disparity among hospital CEO positions.

The following actions were identified in interviews for a recent study that analyzed the career trajectories of 20 female hospital CEOs. The study was conducted by NCHL with investigators from the University of Michigan and supported by a grant from Hospira.

1. Directly cultivate women's career aspirations. Hospitals and health systems should encourage young professionals (of both genders) to proactively manage their careers through formal career planning, discussion of potential future positions or promotions, and room for growth.

2. Develop formal mentoring programs. These should encourage involvement from a wide range of senior leaders to develop future leadership talent. Administrative fellowship programs are especially instrumental in the career success of women leaders, according to the study.

3. But offer more professional development opportunities than fellowships. Hospitals and health systems can also provide training opportunities in a variety of settings (leaving professionals cross-trained) and expand membership for high-visibility projects. Leaders can also sponsor talented or promising employees with opportunities for growth, including advanced education, on-the-job training or executive coaching.

4. Support the development of women's groups or other networking events for women. That support can come in either financial or structural form. This includes supporting women's participation in community women's groups and programs that take place within the hospital or system.

More Articles on Female Leadership in Healthcare:
Women's Executive Leadership Still Lags, And It Matters More in Healthcare Than Other Industries
Women at the Wheel: Q&A With the Female Leadership Team of Grand View Hospital
10 Reads for Healthcare's Executive Women


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