For women in the C-suite, progress still slow

Despite advancements in recent decades, the hospital sector and others lag behind in gender parity at the C-level, according to a new report from McKinsey & Company and Lean In.

While the report found wide gender disparities at every level, the difference is particularly pronounced in the C-suite, where only 17 percent of executives are women.

While rates of attrition are the same or lower for women compared to their male counterparts, advancement is harder for women due to the composition of their support networks, Celia Huber, a director at McKinsey & Company, told Becker's Hospital Review.

"Men usually have a predominantly male network, while women generally have female-oriented networks," she told the publication. "But because there are fewer women in top leadership roles, women's networks tend to be smaller with fewer people who can advocate for them and help them advance."

The report also found that while men and women have similar aspirations to the C-suite, black, Hispanic and Asian women are 43 percent more interested in promotions than white women and 16 percent more interested than white men.

These disparities may be to hospitals' detriment. Research published in February found increasing the number of women in top management jobs just 30 percent can boost company profits 15 percent, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

The report follows a survey last November that found hospital leadership diversity is improving, but at far too slow a pace. Women and ethnic minorities, in particular, found the march of progress too sluggish: Only 26 percent of minorities believe healthcare is closing the leadership gap--fewer than half of their white counterparts--while less than a third of female respondents believe the gap is closing.

To learn more:
- download the report (.pdf)
- read the Becker's article