Women hold only 15% of CEO roles in healthcare organizations

Despite the massive, diverse patient pool for healthcare companies, only 15 percent of CEOs in the industry are women, a new study published Nov. 29 revealed.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, reviewed more than 3,911 healthcare executives and 3,462 board members representing 161 health systems and 108 health insurance groups.

Researchers found that among board chairs, 17.5 percent were women in health systems and 21.3 percent were women in health insurance companies. 

Among the healthcare executives, though, the figures showed an even wider disparity. Only 15.3 percent of CEOs of health systems are women, and 15.8 percent of CEOs of health insurance companies were women. 

It seems as though the presence of female CEOs positively influenced gender diversity across the organizational leadership teams, the authors wrote. The study found that companies with female CEOs were more likely to have more women sitting on the board and more women in other senior positions. 

More broadly, women hold only 8 percent of CEO positions across Fortune 500 companies and 6 percent of CEO roles in S&P 500 companies.

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