#GiveHerAReasonToStay campaign takes off, calls on employers to better support women in healthcare

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Women have been flocking from the medical field during the pandemic, and a Harvard physician launched a gender equity campaign to encourage employers to support their female employees and bring awareness to why they are leaving.

Six things to know:

  1. Women make up 77 percent of patient-facing healthcare employees, and a mass exodus could have a significant effect on patient care and medical research, according to a recent news release from the American Medical Women's Association. The "Give Her a Reason to Stay in Healthcare" campaign focuses on keeping women in medicine and ensuring patients receive the best possible care.

  2. Women in healthcare are not paid or promoted equitably and reported high rates of sexual harassment at work, the release said. They are also encouraged to take on extra duties and engage in unpaid work. Even with added responsibilities at work, women continue to have more responsibilities at home for child care and older adults.

  3. The campaign encourages healthcare executives to find ways their hospitals can be part of the solution. Employers are encouraged to pay women equitably, promote women, give grants or funds to support their work, sponsor a career opportunity, offer child care and ensure the workplace is sexual harassment-free.

  4. Colleagues, patients and other supporters are invited to write a positive review online, nominate women for awards, invite them to co-author or speak at events, cite their research and send notes of appreciation to their employers.

  5. Beginning Sept. 1, supporters are also encouraged to use the hashtags #GiverHerAReasonToStay and #WomenInMedicine on social media to spread awareness.

  6. The campaign was developed by Julie Silver, MD. Dr. Silver is the associate chair in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Boston-based Harvard Medical School. She is an associate professor and the director of a Harvard Medical School women's leadership course. Campaign partners include the American Medical Women's Association and Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine at Philadelphia-based Drexel University College of Medicine.

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