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No Room at the Top: 80 Percent of Healthcare Workers Are Women, but Few Make It to Leadership Roles: Korn Ferry Executive Survey Examines Reasons behind Gap

May 23, 2019

– Half of Healthcare Executives Surveyed Believe Women Have Been Passed Over for Healthcare Promotion Due to Gender –

– Majority Believe Greater Gender Parity in Leadership Would Equate to Greater Profits –

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2019-- According to a recent Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of CEOs, CHROs and other C-suite healthcare executives, greater gender parity in leadership would have a positive effect on healthcare systems and hospitals. And while the vast majority of healthcare workers are women, more needs to be done to advance women to the top.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents say that compared to 5 years ago, there is more opportunity for advancement for women to senior positions in their organization. However, more than half (55 percent) believe women in their organization have been passed over for a promotion on the basis of their gender.

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 80 percent of healthcare workers are women, yet they hold fewer than 20 percent of key leadership roles,” said Katie Bell, Korn Ferry global account lead for the Healthcare Sector. “There is a clear business imperative to creating an environment that is conducive to helping women advance in the healthcare industry.”

Fifty-nine percent of respondents say their organizations would be more profitable with greater gender parity in leadership, and 64 percent say greater parity would result in less employee turnover.

Despite the potential positive impact of gender parity in healthcare leadership, the survey reveals a lack of focus on helping women advance in their careers. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) rank women development programs in their organization as fair, poor or non-existent, and 76 percent say their organizations do not have sponsorship programs to help women advance.

The majority of respondents (54 percent) believe that women do not self-promote as strongly as men do with the purpose of advancing their own careers, and 62 percent say that women get promoted by working hard and being recognized for their efforts, instead of asking their boss for a promotion.

“To move the needle in having more women in leadership positions in healthcare, there must be a shared responsibility between professional women and their organization,” said Bell. “Key to this is engaging organizational leaders to become more agile and adaptive in how they recognize, support and develop female leaders at all levels of the organization.”

Editor’s Note: For a detailed report on women in healthcare, click here

About the Survey– The Korn Ferry survey was conducted in April 2019 and garnered responses from nearly 200 CEOs, CHROs and other members of the C-suite at healthcare systems and hospitals across the United States.

Survey Responses:

Compared to 5 years ago, is there more opportunity for advancement for women to senior positions in your organization?

Yes 63 percent
No 37 percent
 

Do you think women in your organization have been passed over for an opportunity or promotion on the basis of their gender?

Yes 55 percent
No 45 percent
 

How would you rank your development programs to help women advance in their careers?

Non-existent 17 percent
Poor 18 percent
Fair 29 percent
Good 23 percent
Very Good 13 percent
 

To what extent would you agree with the following: there is a solid pipeline of women leaders across my organization who are being groomed for senior positions.

Strongly disagree 21 percent
Disagree somewhat 26 percent
Agree somewhat 36 percent
Strongly agree 17 percent
 

Does your organization have a sponsorship program to help women get promoted?

Yes 24 percent
No 76 percent
 

To what extent would you agree with this statement: Women in my organization self promote as strongly as men do for the purpose of advancing their careers.

Strongly disagree 21 percent
Disagree somewhat 33 percent
Agree somewhat 29 percent
Strongly agree 17 percent
 

What is the top way women get promoted in your organization?

The ask their bosses for a promotion 38 percent

They are doing great work and are recognized for their achievements without having to ask for a promotion

62 percent
 

When there is a new job opportunity in your organization, how common is it that a woman is always considered in the candidate mix?

Not common at all 10 percent
Somewhat common 46 percent
Very common 44 percent
 

Do you think your organization would be more profitable if there were greater gender parity in leadership?

Yes 59 percent
No 41 percent
 

Do you think there would be less turnover in your organization if there were greater gender parity in leadership?

Yes 64 percent
No 36 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.

Source: Korn Ferry

MEDIA CONTACT
Tracy Kurschner
612.309.3957
Tracy.Kurschner@kornferry.com

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