IssueMarch 22Opinion

The road to reach a leadership position is steep for women

Women are uniquely positioned to leverage traits such as compassion, transparency, and the ability to foster teamwork to lead organisations, says Richa Malhotra, Head of Clinical Informatics & Reporting, 4baseCare

70 per cent of the healthcare workforce is made up of women but less than 25 per cent are in a leadership position. Yes definitely! Like other countries, women represent a majority of the healthcare workforce, yet they are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions. It can be easily noticed through the images of healthcare leaders on websites, which shows a majority of them are males. 

Today, we have a handful of female CEOs like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sangita Reddy, Vinita Gupta, etc who act as strong pillars in the healthcare industries. This current scenario is changing which can be easily witnessed by increased numbers of women in STEM who are breaking the glass ceilings and competing with the men at every step.

The road to reach a leadership position is steep for women due to multiple constraints. The major factors that deprive them of reaching leadership roles are:

●     Societal Obligation:  Inordinate amount of responsibility related to the running of households and eldercare, societal pressures for marriage and childbearing etc. It is not surprising to see women leave the workforce to care for their families.

●     Health and Safety Concerns: Intimate health issues, physical safety during the commute to work, sexual and mental harassment in workplaces

●     Hiring Opportunity: The female candidates in the corporate sector requires an explanation of maternity or marriage plans in the existing recruiting process.

●     Perception in the workplace: In most the workplace, it is perceived that male colleagues will be a great fit for leadership positions as it involves work-related travels and presence in social gatherings.

According to research, women in executive positions provide a positive impact on the company’s performance. It won’t be wrong in stating that 4baseCare is driven by women leaders who encourage collaboration, team-building, and innovative thinking, without taking their eyes off bottom-line results. Our Clinical Director, Dr Vidya, CD, 4baseCare is one of the examples who are passionate about building a culture of strong leadership with the essence of a healthy working environment. In addition to this, she is passionate to pass the legacy and creating more strong women leaders in the company.

Women are uniquely positioned to leverage traits such as compassion, transparency, and the ability to foster teamwork to lead organisations. They are generally driven by both a sense of purpose and achieving business results and hence believe in creating a positive impact on the community, employees, and the world around them. Thus, increasing the number of women leaders essentially implies a healthy work environment along with meeting the business target. 

Healthcare institutions have a lot of work to do to improve gender parity at the senior leadership level. The hiring managers need to be held accountable to keep track of how many women are promoted, the reason, and equally monetary wages to males and females. In addition to this, initiatives are much required to identify the best talent and provide opportunities to women with career gaps. 

I truly believe women in leadership have a responsibility to pay it forward by identifying the next generation of women leaders and doing what we can to bring them up. I can’t wait to see the transformation of the healthcare sector when both males and female leaders work together.


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