Our healthcare system in the US is at a crossroads. As a physician, you know firsthand about the opportunities, and the serious challenges related to care access, quality, cost containment and infrastructure. My mission is that you know how important you are to the success of medicine. Strong woman physician leaders are key to health care reform.

The good news is that today there are more women leaders than ever before. Diverse executive teams see better outcomes when innovative ideas are brought to the table.

Women are still underrepresented in leadership roles. Women represent just 26% of hospital CEO positions, and 21% of executive and board members roles. Women are better represented in lower levels of management, but that is not usually the level at which system-wide impact occurs. This slows down needed change in organizations, and continues obstacles like bias in hiring practices, lack of role models champions and leadership development.

Next week I have the privilege of speaking to Emergency Department women physicians from around the nation at the FixIt 2017 conference. We will explore the question:

“Women’s leadership needs to be valued and encouraged, but how do we move that forward?”

First: Identify What is Not Working.

  • How well does the culture of healthcare support the development of women leaders?
  • Do our organizational structures help or hinder the development of women leaders?

Second: We Need to Find Better Ways.

  • What needs to shift for a health care reform?
  • What is one thing my organization could do that would make a big difference or women leaders?

Third: Be Personally Accountable and Ask Ourselves.

  • What am I doing to help or hinder women leaders?
  • What can I stop tolerating in my own leadership or from other leaders?

Women leaders are and will continue to step forward. It may feel like an uphill battle at times, but when has that ever stopped you!

To read more content about leading change, click here.

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