Women still have a long way to go in healthcare leadership, but in Jackson County, Michigan, they are breaking down barriers. Most of the leaders of healthcare organizations in Jackson County are female, which is quite a contrast to the rest of the nation. Certain hospitals elsewhere are trying to promote the retention and advancement of women in their healthcare organizations. Fierce Healthcare cites an example from Stanford School of Medicine that offers unpaid leave for a year after childbirth or adoption, yearly stipends for childcare and on-site childcare as incentives to staying.
There still remain differences, even when women make it to the C-suite. A study from Kennesaw State University of 157 female C-suite healthcare executives and 125 male executives found that women average 35% lower salaries than their male counterparts. Women also cited challenges such as unsupportive supervisors, being excluded from “informal networks”, lack of role models, bad work environments, and lack of support for advancement.
Hopefully, with studies being performed and articles published on the disparities of healthcare leadership that more organizations will work to promote female advancement in the workplace. Jackson County should be used as an example for healthcare organizations nationwide. Three female CEOs in Jackson County, Georgia Fojtasek, Molly Kaser and Maribeth Leonard, advised aspiring female healthcare leaders to pursue education, be passionate, and always be willing to grow in order to break down the barriers.
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