Article Synopsis :
There’s a bit of a healthcare theme in the library this month. This paper looks at this sector from the point of view of gender equality, pipeline practices, employee experiences, and policies and programs the industry has implemented to promote diversity and inclusion. We also hear from industry leaders on what it takes to accelerate change across the sector.
People still in demand
While the industry is desperately seeking to transition to a digital business model, technology isn’t going to replace all the humans. Rather, it will enhance their roles.
A survey of more than 10,848 employees at 11 healthcare companies across North America shows that healthcare will be one of the best industries for working women to target.
Healthcare is a diverse industry that includes many options for new entrant. It covers drug and medical device manufacturers, service providers and payers, and it already has heavy female representation, including at CEO level, eg Emma Walmsley at GlaxoSmithKline, Gail Boudreaux at Anthem and Laura Dietch at BioTrace.
Women are increasingly receiving accolades for their work in the industry, such as Frances Arnold, the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018.
Women are the primary consumers and decision makers in the healthcare market and make up almost half the workforce. However, there is still some way to increase the diversity of ethnicity in leadership roles, not only at board level but across the range of management roles.
A good place for women
Women are better represented at all levels than in other sectors and get promoted at similar rates to men. It is a satisfying career and there is considerable progress being made on matters of diversity, particularly in six areas identified by the study.
- Healthcare is a natural home for 50% of STEM graduates that are women. The industry covers technical disciplines as diverse as medicine, science, engineering, technology, business, operations, and design.
- More than 80% of nurses are women, and make up a large part of the workforce in healthcare provider and payer organisations in the United States. This is important as women also make up a significant proportion of patients (57%). Diversity in this workforce shows a correlation with clinical outcomes. Yes, having a woman who has a female doctor is more likely to survive a heart attack than one treated by male doctors. Male doctors are more also effective at treating heart attacks when they work in hospitals with more female doctors.
- Diversity in marketing at pharma, biotech, and device subsectors is especially important for therapies and solutions to treat conditions that disproportionately affect women. It provides companies with a more authentic market for their female patients.
- Unlike many other industries, healthcare performs better than average, with relatively low gaps across the board.
- Women are shown to be more successful at getting raises than male counterparts.
- They also have higher career satisfaction scores (75% against 71% among men). They can find opportunities that align with their interest and find their careers are adaptable over time.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThere is a general understanding that digitalisation – particularly in the case of automation and AI – will reduce jobs, but will not remove the need for human beings in insurance.
One report from McKinsey suggests that women are likely to be hit harder than men, but that is not likely to the case in healthcare, says this report.
Healthcare is likely to be revolutionised if automation and blockchain can be brought to bear on the vast amount of paper documentation.
Yet there are many reasons for women to look to the healthcare industry to provide a rewarding – and stable – career path.
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