Health system bucks industry norms, names majority female leaders

The average healthcare leadership team is 25 percent female. But at Marlton, N.J.-based Virtua Health, women hold nearly 55 percent of the senior leadership roles. 

Virtua's leadership composition is no accident, according to a news release the health system shared with Becker's. It deliberately recruits, retains and advances women as a "strategic imperative." 

Rhonda Jordan, the health system's executive vice president and chief human resources officer, has advanced a number of initiatives for women. The "Women of Virtua" affinity group provides space for women to network and support one another; the "Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for All Committee" aligns colleagues from all divisions of the health system to cultivate an inclusive culture and create an equitable workforce. Additionally, the health system has instituted bylaws to ensure its board of trustees matches the demographics of its service area. 

Having women at the helm is good for business, the health system says. Companies with at least 30 percent women on the executive team were 48 percent more likely to outperform companies with fewer women in leadership, according to a 2020 report from McKinsey & Co.

"Recognizing talent and being intentional about how we hire, promote, and ensure fair and equitable opportunities for all, especially women, has been an important tenet of my leadership," Dennis Pullin, president and CEO of Virtua Health, said in the release. "Today, women are at the helm of many of our divisions, ensuring Virtua is an industry leader in innovation, clinical excellence, and human experience."

Virtua Health is a five-hospital academic health system affiliated with Glassboro, N.J.-based Rowan University. 

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