This week, The Lancet, a highly respected healthcare industry publication, dedicates an entire issue to advancing gender equity in science, medicine and global health. The collection of papers highlights that gender equity is not only a matter of justice and rights but is crucial to producing the best research and patient care.
As a healthcare gender parity advocate for more than four decades, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) applauds The Lancet for its in-depth reporting on gender equity in the workplace—reinforcing HBA’s 40 years of work to elevate the issue to mainstream awareness. The HBA also supports the frequent case made in the report for systemic change and a greater emphasis on the need for extraordinary commitment and leadership from the highest levels of management to bolster those contributions by individual women already providing strong leadership.
As stated in The Lancet’s editorial: “It is well-established that women are underrepresented in positions of power and leadership…in scientific and health disciplines across the world… Despite decades of recognition, these problems have proved stubbornly persistent…”
The editorial and other comprehensive research and opinions shared echo the systemic barriers that have slowed the progress of achieving gender parity addressed in the LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company’s 2018 Women in the Workplace study of which the HBA is now recognized by McKinsey as an industry champion.
The study data clearly make the business case. While women in healthcare make up 63 percent of entry-level workers and 58 percent of managers, they represent just 31 percent of SVPs and 25 percent of C-suite leaders. Despite numerous studies extolling the benefits derived from gender equity, many companies are simply not prioritizing this and devoting sufficient resources to ensure gender equity in the workplace. There is a strong pipeline of women leaders ready to step into senior roles and contribute to the data proving gender parity is good for business.
This is precisely why the HBA established the Gender Parity Collaborative—to help companies establish the necessary architecture and drive organizational change supported from the top down in order to build inclusive cultures and achieve firm gender parity goals backed by strong and transparent performance accountability metrics.