Growing Leadership Diversity in Healthcare Benefits Everyone

20285688_wideIllness is blind to race, gender and ethnic origins. Since you are in the business of caring for others, it's critically important to ensure that clinicians, executives and even members of the governing boards, accurately represent the communities you serve. 

There is room for considerable improvement in leadership diversity in healthcare. According to AMN Healthcare, A survey by American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management found that while minorities represented 32% of patients in hospitals, they comprised only 14% of hospital board members, 11% of executive leadership, and 19% of mid-level and first-level managers. On gender, despite a healthcare workforce that is 80% female, women occupy approximately 25% of hospital CEO positions. Representation by women of color is in the single digits.

There are clear benefits of promoting diversity in the C-suite and encouraging stronger representation from groups that have long been underrepresented in executive roles. Not only do patients benefit from having advocates who represent the full spectrum of the community, but it also makes good business sense. 

Having a variety of opinions and perspectives among top leadership ranks leads to deeper discussions, more thoughtful and intentional strategies, and better decision-making. That, in turn, improves operational performance.

Diversity can be a competitive advance in recruiting, hiring, and retaining quality Nurses, Physicians and other healthcare professionals, including leaders. Like patient engagement, the engagement of team members and leaders is crucial to recruitment and retention, so diversity should be an important consideration to make all feel welcome.

Healthcare systems are aware that diversity among staff, leadership and board members is important to improving patient medical outcomes and reducing health disparities. Diversity also improves the bottom line. Companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform peers on profitability, according to McKinsey & Co.

Healthcare organizations should pursue diversity in their leadership and workforce to improve healthcare outcomes and their bottom line. 

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