Paper Example on Gender and Leadership in Healthcare Administration

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1147 Words
Date:  2022-07-27


Contemporary health services workforce call for increased diversity and robust leadership to help tackle prominent issues as regards gender gaps in healthcare administration. While data and research studies delineate increasing the records of women in healthcare leadership responsibilities, it is rather indisputable that they remain underrepresented in executive positions and top echelons within the healthcare sector. Gender differences are still prevalent in the types of roles that women attain concerning administrative responsibilities. In an age where much has been said and done in ensuring ultimate control of gender differences in experience, age and attainment, wage and salary disparities prevail. Although widespread initiatives promoting awareness of the gender problems, proactive, actionable and sustainable policy recommendations are austerely lacking (Lantz, 2008). It is, therefore, the view of this paper that it is time for more thoughtful, policy-focused approaches, in the wake of multifaceted challenges of quality care, cost and aging populations, to amend discrepancies between gender disparity and administrative leadership in the healthcare sector.

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Scholarly studies have outlined a number of commendations in backing increased equity and gender multiplicity in the assignment of administrative roles amongst healthcare board members and executive leaders. In the studies, researchers recommend policy-focused strategies that are meant to drive success and promote leverage based on evidence-based literature and expert field work.

CEO and Board Accountability

The enablement of policy-focused approaches towards a positive end in the rather prevalent gender disparity and gaps in healthcare administration is heavily dependent on transformational perspectives from governing boards and CEOs. This entails the creation of fairgrounds upon which candidates are recruited to top positions followed by the publication of scorecards and metrics on actionable targets to advance women's overall representation in leadership to promote accountability (Lantz, 2008). Over a decade, little change has been effected in the provision of opportunities from women in the boardroom, which in essence, is the highest level of institutional and organizational leadership in the top executive suites. A report published in 2010 reveals that only 15% of women occupy Fortune 500 Director positions while 28% are board members in the healthcare sector worldwide (Hassmiller & Combes, 2012). Presenting a diversity of thought and fresh perspectives, women stand a chance of effecting transformational leadership and organizational development if given an opportunity. In augmenting this argument, McDonagh et al. (2014) assert that women know very well that the playing-ground is not equally favorable for them, hence the need to perform, or even outperform their male counterparts in their respective role and duties. It is in this regard that most companies under the governance of women record accountability and increased turnover coupled with the emphasis on quality and customer satisfaction.

Succession Planning and Leadership Development

Successful organizations focusing on transformational leadership within the health care system ought to include women in the senior executive suite and governing boardrooms. A lack of focus on succession planning and female career progress which is repeatedly rooted in obstinate, ungrounded stereotypes concerning women leaders is a critical deterrent to the advancement of women in topmost headship positions. It is therefore paramount to effect immediate remediation of the gender problem through the implementation of succession planning strategies to ensure that talented women leaders are granted equal opportunities to fill the prevalent leadership gap in top administrative healthcare positions. McDonagh et al. (2014) reiterate the need to embrace succession planning which, according to them, alleviates evident disruption to healthcare institutions and the inability within the inability to create sustainable change in the healthcare sector.

Vacant CEO positions put on hold critical and significant programs such as new service developments and physician recruitment. A study conducted by Dolan (2011) on freestanding hospitals revealed that in the US, only 21% of the healthcare institutions performed succession planning versus the 52% public companies. The importance of succession planning, with clear initiatives creating opportunities for women in top leadership positions can be taken from a case example of best practices in addressing gender leadership gaps by Moses Cone Health System and North Shore-LIJ Health System (Dolan, 2011). The policies governing the hospitals practice and implement creative solutions through a sustainable commitment to female career development and succession planning to ensure that well-equipped women assume greater administrative roles by recognizing their transformational leadership talents which eventually have an evident positive impact on the healthcare sector and quality of care (Lantz, 2008).

Objective Performance Evaluation Process

Over the years, the opportunity for women to advance their careers and administrative talents have been overly undermined by biased performance evaluation processes drawn from underrating women where their male counterparts are overrated. Small disadvantages accumulate over time, resulting in disparities over a given period in prestige, promotion, and salary (Kalaitzi, Czabanowska, Fowler-Davis & Brand, 2017). Though most people express such egalitarian convictions, they are mostly not cognizant of how the unconscious gender plans are contributing factors in working evaluation and the results. Evaluators, therefore ought to be informed on the outcomes of gender representations and the important role that the evaluation facets play in the accumulation of lasting disadvantage and advantages of bias. As a solution, evaluators should review the standard evaluation forms to guarantee that involuntary bias is not affected in the process through fair third-party assessment. The accountability for appraisals on objective performance is vital in the development of a more unbiased and equitable healthcare system (Lantz, 2008).


Noteworthy is the fact that corporations ought to start acknowledging that women comprise a significant part of the administrative healthcare pools in the era of shortages in leadership. In a bid to embrace and promote transformational leadership, organizations should adopt creative and policy-focused strategies that are meant to drive success and promote leverage through avenues that enable them to attain high-level positions. The policy-focused approaches include but are not limited to CEO and Board accountability, progression planning, and leadership growth as well as objective performance evaluation procedure. The policy-focused criteria are meant to introduce diverse leadership talents to promote transformational leadership and remediation of the problem to fill administrative gaps in the healthcare sector with talented female leaders. Notably, most healthcare companies with the best records attribute their success to talented and committed women leaders. The success in such companies concerning turnover and patient satisfaction outstrips the performance of other organizations that fail to acknowledge the significant contributions of women leaders in every aspect and measure of profitability.


Dolan, T. (2011). The CEO Turnover and Succession Crisis. Healthcare Executive, 26, 6-8.

Hassmiller, S., & Combes, J. (2012). Nurse Leaders in the Boardroom: A Fitting Choice. Journal of Healthcare Management, 57, 8-11.

Kalaitzi, S., Czabanowska, K., Fowler-Davis, S., & Brand, H. (2017). Women leadership barriers in healthcare, academia, and business. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: An International Journal, 36(5), 457-474.

Lantz, P. M. (2008). Gender and leadership in healthcare administration: 21st-century progress and challenges. Journal of Healthcare Management, 53(5), 291-301.

McDonagh, K. J., Bobrowski, P., Hoss, M. A. K., Paris, N. M., & Schulte, M. (2014). The leadership gap: Ensuring effective healthcare leadership requires the inclusion of women at the top. Open Journal of Leadership, 3(02), 20.

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