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Not your parent’s white paper
Rock Reports combine aggregated data with expert anecdotes to tell a story, delivered in a user-friendly format. In this report, we wanted to better understand the roles and experiences of US women working in healthcare, and ﬁnd areas for improvement. This report sources data from public sources, healthcare companies and a survey distributed to women in the space. Caveat: we are not professional white-paperistas, just curious advocates who like to share knowledge and further discussion around important topics. Rock Health is powering the future of the digital health ecosystem, bringing together the brightest minds across disciplines to build better solutions. Rock Health funds and supports startups building the next generation of technologies transforming healthcare. Rock Health partners include Aberdare Ventures, Accel Partners, California HealthCare Foundation, Fenwick & West, Harvard Medical School, Genentech, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Mohr Davidow, NEA, Nike, P&G, Qualcomm, Quest Diagnostics, Silicon Valley Bank, UCSF and United Health Group. For more information, visit www.rockhealth.com. Report by: Nicola Kamath, Sona Makker, Halle Tecco and Leslie Ziegler
“Sexism is not a glass
ceiling. It’s a labyrinth of micro-inequities that add up over a lifetime” AMY CUDDYProfessor at Harvard Business School
We asked 100 women, What
are the biggest barriers for your career advancement? ls ns p ts e 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Family Obligations Ability to connect with senior leadership Self conﬁdence Time constraints Education / Skills Source: Rock Health Survey of 100 women in healthcare, 2011
Gender roles continue to exist
in the workplace, making this progression harder than originally imagined. For example, I work in a company that fosters women to rise, with full support from upper management. However, the same upper management is male dominated, making it diﬃcult to form a strong connection. I feel a little less conﬁdent than my male counterparts to take up leadership or presentation responsibilities within the workplace made to senior male leadership. My male coworkers are more likely to take credit for a job, whereas I tend to share credit with those that have helped me in the process of carrying out a task.
It wasn't until I was
working through the ranks of middle management that I saw how diﬃcult it can be for woman to advance into senior leadership roles. I think it is a natural tendency to hire, promote, and mentor individuals who are most like you so by virtue of fewer women in senior leadership positions I think that dynamic contributes to a woman's ability to advance. “ ” KATIE VAHLECo-Founder & Patient Advocate of CoPatient
DR. BRIDGET DUFFY Early in
my career I served as Medical Director at one of the world’s largest medical device companies. The company was hosting an annual CEO Summit, and when I walked into the large auditorium I was struck by the audience. I turned to the CEO and whispered, “and you wonder what is wrong with healthcare today?!” The room was ﬁlled with 300 white, middle aged men! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought, where are the women leading these organizations! “ ” CEO, ExperiaHealth
I believe the lack of
women executive leaders (in terms of numbers as compared to men) is due to not having enough role models and women not knowing what they can achieve in this space. “ ” IYA KHALILCo-Founder and Executive Vice President of GNS Healthcare
13% 22% 22% 43% No
mentor Both male & female mentors Male mentor Female mentor Do you have a mentor? Source: Rock Health Survey of 100 women in healthcare, 2011 "Mentorship" is a bit of a loaded word. How about just building genuine relationships? That’s hard too given I don’t drink beer, which is all my coworkers do outside the oﬃce. Finding mentors that transcend our entrenched medical system is what I ﬁnd most challenging. The few women leaders that I want to connect with seem too busy to build a relationship with a junior person like me.
Trying to ﬁt a reproduction
schedule within a growing career is always on my mind. My male peers (and partner) give this signiﬁcantly less thought. Making room has forced me to reconsider my aspirations for academic leadership. And it’s also leading me to be more creative and look beyond academia into careers in business and public health that are dynamic, ﬂexible and still interesting and engaging. DHARUSHANA MUTHULINGAMMedical Student at UCSF “ ”
As women, the most valued
qualities in our private lives have not caught up to our professional lives. What I am rewarded for professionally (drive, intensity, etc) can hurt me personally. Women have to have a very honed on/oﬀ switch. That is why we are redeﬁning femininity. “ ” STEPH HABIFBehavior Designer/Strategist
Data shows that women are
at the center of healthcare decisions in the family unit and experience the full spectrum of healthcare delivery. As leaders in the healthcare system, women bring ﬁrsthand views as customers. They can then help deﬁne and improve on these experiences, making the healthcare system more user friendly, convenient, and eﬃcient. As healthcare professionals, women bring empathy and increased communication skills. This is an industry where women can naturally lead. SUE SIEGELPartner at Mohr Davidow “ ”
The healthtech startup that doesn't
recognize that every household has what I call the "Family Chief Health & Wellness Oﬃcer" (aka "Mom" in many cases) is missing the boat. The reality is that the female head of household makes 80-90% of healthcare decisions. I've often joked that men make the purchase decisions for beer, batteries and tires with women making most of the rest of them. This is especially true in healthcare. DAVE CHASEFounder & CEO, Avado “ ”
Engaging women in health provides
great insight from life experience–into the mechanisms through which good health can be maintained, risk factors identiﬁed, and health conditions treated. Women are all too often viewed as the target beneﬁciaries of specialized health programs– but not strategically engaged as the drivers of the solutions that will revolutionize the way that health services and products are designed and delivered. PATTY MECHAELExecutive Director, mHealth Alliance “ ”
It is called healthcare for
a reason. Find and focus on what you authentically care about. Focus on the impact you want to make. Plan for pushback. That makes it much easier to persist, to overcome the inevitable challenges, to seize the right opportunities, to spend the time necessary to become expert in a certain area, to rally not only your own but others’ resources, time, skill, and talent around your goals. DONNA CRYERChairman of the Board, American Liver Association / CEO, Cryer Health “ ”
Showcase the women’s successes. Let
our daughters see what women can achieve. Support reversals of traditional domestic roles. Encourage your workplace to oﬀer paid parental leave for fathers, too. Serve as a mentor to other women. Build relationships with women at every level. Speak up. Oﬀer to guest blog, speak at conferences, and make your voice heard. Attend events for women. [Like the Rock Health XX Day in April.] How can we reduce barriers and promote more female leaders?
You are in charge of
your career! Invest the time to invest in yourself, take stock of where you are in your career progression on an ongoing basis. And don’t take yourself to seriously. Laughter helps! - Sue Siegel We need more women leading the charge in this ﬁeld. I have beneﬁted greatly from fantastic mentors and encourage women to ﬁnd cheerleaders and individuals who are doing the things that they would like to do to explore the possibilities. -Patty Mechael Find other women who “Think Big” and want to disrupt the status quo in healthcare. Cold call someone you admire that has done something transformative in the industry and ask them to serve as a mentor. - Dr. Bridget Duﬀy Words of wisdom Healthcare companies need to take an active role in grooming women for executive positions for eﬀective succession planning. Making these investments early on willpay oﬀ in the long run. - Rebecca Woodcock
“Just don’t give up trying
to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ELLA FITZGERALD