Report: Among top 200 health companies, 19 have female CEOs

Among the top 200 healthcare companies, including payers, medical technology manufacturers, pharma companies and providers, 19 have female CEOs, according to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group.

The report, titled "Women Dominate Health Care — Just Not in the Executive Suite" and released Jan. 7, examines the lack of female C-suite representation despite the abundance of female employees across U.S. healthcare companies.

Researchers point to two main causes for the dearth of female leadership. First, women are more likely to work in administrative functions at a company, while men are more likely to serve as operational unit or division heads, which typically places them on the fast-track to C-suite roles. Second, the bulk of childcare responsibilities still fall to women, and many companies fail to provide flexible work options and other arrangements to help new parents. Women are also more likely than men to place their careers on hold after having a child, the report finds.

The report outlines six ways to help place women on equal footing with men in terms of their career track to hold more C-suite roles:

  • Highlight senior women as role models.
  • Offer sponsorship programs for high-potential women.
  • Standardize performance reviews and promotion decisions on the basis of hard metrics.
  • Hire and promote talent from unconventional sources.
  • Provide flexible work arrangements.
  • Measure what matters.

"Healthcare is facing major disruptions from new payment models, digital and e-health, and greater patient involvement in their own care," Matt Krentz, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report, said in a statement. "Companies need innovative solutions to compete, but they won't be able to come up with those ideas if everyone on the leadership team looks the same."

To access the full report, click here.

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