Industry Roundtable: Gender Parity Remains Elusive in Health IT, Despite Recent Progress
Thought leaders commend advances for women in leadership roles but cite need for further effort and attention
May 16, 2018 --
NEW YORK, May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Chasm Partners, a leading executive search firm in the healthcare technology and services space, recently convened a roundtable discussion to evaluate the state of gender parity in the healthcare IT space, as well as explore the benefits that gender diversity creates for health organizations.
The roundtable, which was hosted as part of the firm's quarterly newsletter, ChasmPOV, featured viewpoints from four female leaders from the healthcare information technology industry who are inspiring the next generation of healthcare entrepreneurs:
- Lisa Suennen, Senior Managing Director of GE Ventures and a Founder of CSweetener, a not-for-profit organization that facilitates mentorship relationships with executives and women approaching C-suite-level positions.
- Cathrin Stickney, a healthcare executive who is Founder and CEO of Parity.org, which advocates for women's representation at the highest levels of business.
- Jan Bruce, CEO and Co-founder meQuilibrium, a technology platform that optimizes individual and team-based resilience, performance and engagement through behavioral science and predictive analytics.
- Dawn Owens, former CEO of Optum Health and current President of TripleTree, a leading healthcare investment bank and principal investor that invests in growth-stage healthcare technology and services companies.
"Though research has illustrated a significant correlation between the presence of women in leadership roles and stronger corporate performance, the gender gap in America's C-suites remains frustratingly persistent," said Kristy Lindquist, Co-Founder and Partner at Chasm Partners. "However, digital health startups tell a different story. These companies have seen a tremendous increase in gender parity, with women making up nearly a quarter of the CEOs of digital health companies founded in 2016. In this roundtable, our distinguished group of panelists share their observations on how gender parity in healthcare has evolved in recent years and offer their prescriptions for how the industry can build on the substantial progress that has already been made."
Key takeaways and highlights from the roundtable discussion include:
- Gender parity is most effective when it's a component of broader, organization-wide cultural change.
"Companies have to decide affirmatively that they care about this culturally or they will not attract and promote more women into leadership," said Suennen. "There needs to be a concerted effort to change the culture and demonstrate that the commitment is real."
- Women bring many different strengths to leadership roles, and those advantages are critical factors in their companies' success.
"I have seen that gender diversity can significantly impact the cohesiveness and collegiality of a board," said Bruce. "Women are often better listeners, more empathetic, and better able to relate to others, and at the board level, they are inherently accustomed to listen and learn, rather than dominate the conversation."
- Women must know their own value, be their own advocates – and not be afraid to ask.
"Pick your head up – don't just be great at what you do, don't just be the reliable one," said Owens. "Rather, build relationships, invest in people and the 'soft stuff,' and don't hesitate to leverage who and what you know. Understand the broader context. It's okay to advocate for yourself; in fact, you have to! Know yourself."
- The next generation of women is determined to accelerate healthcare's ongoing evolution toward gender parity.
"It's encouraging to see the number of females leading the way in this field. I see this firsthand at NYU, where I'm an adjunct professor teaching a course I wrote called 'The Making of a Healthcare Entrepreneur,'" said Stickney. "This year, more than 80 percent of my class is women—double that of last year. Women understand that they are every bit as creative, talented, and competitively driven to make a difference as men are and are entering healthcare tech as a platform to express their determination to succeed on their own terms."
To learn more and read the full ChasmPOV roundtable, please visit the Chasm Partners website.
About Chasm Partners
Chasm Partners is a retained search firm focused on placing top talent in high-growth venture backed companies. We specialize in helping organizations scale in highly disruptive sectors facing transformation including Healthcare Technology & Services, Big Data & Analytics and Enterprise Software. In addition to retained search, Chasm invests in many of its clients and provides additional services to help them scale and grow including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and organizational development. For more information, visit www.chasmpartners.com.
Media Contact: Lisa Chernikoff, Amendola Communications for Chasm Partners, 734-678-5513, email@example.com
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