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The Leadership Gap: Ensuring Effective Healthcare Leadership Requires Inclusion of Women at the Top

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DOI: 10.4236/ojl.2014.32003    6,208 Downloads   8,581 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This paper argues that successful transformation of the healthcare system requires inclusion of women at the top. Women are missing in top leadership roles in healthcare at a time when the US healthcare system faces daunting challenges. There is a documented need for diverse leadership teams with transformational leadership skills to successfully lead organizations, yet women who comprise three fourths of the healthcare workforce are sparsely represented in board rooms and in the senior executive suite. Through a review the literature the authors explain why this leadership gap persists and recommend strategies to increase gender diversity in leadership ranks of the healthcare industry. Studies from other business sectors are also examined for application in healthcare. A lack of focus on female career development and succession planning, often based on persistent stereotypes about women leaders is a major deterrent to advancing women in top leadership positions. A compelling case is made for immediate remediation of this issue and implementing strategies to fill the leadership gap with talented women leaders. There is a demand to increase the number of women in top leadership positions in healthcare to assist in overcoming the current crises facing the industry.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

McDonagh, K. , Bobrowski, P. , Hoss, M. , Paris, N. & Schulte, M. (2014). The Leadership Gap: Ensuring Effective Healthcare Leadership Requires Inclusion of Women at the Top. Open Journal of Leadership, 3, 20-29. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2014.32003.

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