Gender Imbalance in Senior Levels of Healthcare
Gender Imbalance

Gender Imbalance in Senior Levels of Healthcare

Since 80 percent of the healthcare workforce are female, it seems there is a gender imbalance against males in the healthcare industry.  But a recent article from Harvard Business Review revealed that in the US “only 3% of healthcare CEOs are women, 6% are department chairs, 9% are division chiefs, and 3% are serving as chief medical officers.”

The staggering turnabout in numbers indicates while a large percentage of the healthcare workforce is female, few are in senior leadership roles.  One of the reasons for the gender gap in senior positions may be a biased hiring process.  The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to create a gender neutral recruitment process. If your hiring practices provide gender revealing information about candidates, you may be prohibiting gender diversity in your workforce.  If your selection process uses standardized tools and procedures to determine candidates suitability for a role, you may be able to find the best candidate regardless of gender.

Gender Imbalance in Senior Levels of Healthcare

Why Gender Imbalance Still Exists

Gender bias originated from gender stereotypes.  Over time, the simplified judgments we made about the characteristics of jobs and ideal candidates for them evolve into stereotypes.  Perhaps we look for dominant personalities in senior leadership roles.  Often we assume a man will have the dominant personalities needed for a senior leadership roles.  Unfortunately, we don’t even realize we are relying on stereotypes to base our decisions.  We simply look at the information in front of us to and lean toward a gender based on our expectations.  If the recruiting information includes gender, we may lean for or against based on that information.

Ways to Avoid Gender Bias in the Recruiting Process

The first step to avoiding gender bias is to identify bias in your recruitment process.  Once you realize your vulnerability, take steps to avoid future problems.  There is good news. You can follow specific steps to reduce and ultimately eliminate gender bias from your recruitment process.

Set Gender Diversity goals.

Setting specific diversity goals creates your recruitment blueprint.  This plan can ensure you are following the right course toward gender diversity.

Write Gender neutral job descriptions.

We don’t even realize we do it.  We write job descriptions that include how we want responsibilities handled, but sometimes we even use pronouns that are gender specific.  As you write the job descriptions, be conscious of avoiding gender specific requirements.

Use a diverse recruitment team.

If you are intent on more gender or other diversity, it is critical to use a diverse team to interview and reach final decisions.  It is common sense that a diverse team is more likely to reach diverse conclusions. 

PX3 Medical Staffing is an experienced recruiting firm. You can rest easy knowing we employ hiring practices that support gender and racial diversity.  We use a system of checks and balances to avoid gender imbalance pitfalls.  In fact, every day our process follows fair hiring practices.  Let us help you locate optimum healthcare candidates. Just visit or call (925)948-8749.  Tell us what you need in executive or physician recruitment.  We can help you find the right talent for your organization regardless of gender.

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