Women Dominate Health Care—Just Not in the Executive Suite
US health care companies have a wealth of talented female employees—more than 75% of the workforce—yet the share of women in leadership roles is as abysmally low as it is throughout corporate America. The problem lies less in recruiting and more in retention and advancement, illustrating a need to put more women in operating roles and help them balance work, child care, and family responsibilities.
BCG research has shown that gender parity in leadership offers benefits across industries, in the form of more innovative thinking and better financial perfor-mance. The current disruptions underway in health care call for unconventional approaches and new ideas—which won’t come from a C-suite in which everyone looks and thinks the same.
Our research and conversations with successful female leaders in health care point to six priorities: highlighting senior women as role models, developing formal sponsorship programs, standardizing performance reviews and promotion criteria, hiring and promoting talent from unconventional sources, providing flexible work arrangements, and measuring what matters.