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Women, Leadership, and Health UN Commission on the Status of Women March 3, 2006 By Norma J. Goodwin, M.D. Founder and President Health Power, Inc. ®

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Presentation on theme: "Women, Leadership, and Health UN Commission on the Status of Women March 3, 2006 By Norma J. Goodwin, M.D. Founder and President Health Power, Inc. ®"— Presentation transcript:

1 Women, Leadership, and Health UN Commission on the Status of Women March 3, 2006 By Norma J. Goodwin, M.D. Founder and President Health Power, Inc. ®

2 Leadership and Decision-making In all fields: Both leadership and decision-making are connected, or cross-cutting. Both leadership and decision-making are connected, or cross-cutting. Thus, hereafter, the term leadership will be used. Thus, hereafter, the term leadership will be used.

3 Informal Leadership Often, the person without the fancy (or formal) title, runs everything. Often, the person without the fancy (or formal) title, runs everything. For some of them, such leadership is very gratifying. But, too often they are women who have either been denied, or overlooked for, upward mobility. Some of them represent intervention opportunities. For some of them, such leadership is very gratifying. But, too often they are women who have either been denied, or overlooked for, upward mobility. Some of them represent intervention opportunities.

4 Key Overlooked Informal Leaders Since women must go from strength to strength in expanding leadership, we need to acknowledge, learn from the examples of, and more effectively involve some of the most effective women leaders worldwide: mothers and homemakers. Since women must go from strength to strength in expanding leadership, we need to acknowledge, learn from the examples of, and more effectively involve some of the most effective women leaders worldwide: mothers and homemakers. Some are actually miracle makers. Some are actually miracle makers.

5 Women and Leadership in Health While it is not always apparent, the higher up one goes in leadership in the health field (and many others), the fewer women one finds. While it is not always apparent, the higher up one goes in leadership in the health field (and many others), the fewer women one finds. Many statistics document this. Many statistics document this.

6 Key Statistical Example: American Medical Schools - They train tomorrows physicians, whether sensitive to womens health needs or not; - They are major health care providers – both directly and indirectly; - They are major employers, thus targets for leadership employment for women.

7 Medical Schools and Women in Leadership According to AAMC*, women are: 38% of Assistant Professors; 27% of Associate Professors; and only 15% of full Professors; 38% of Assistant Professors; 27% of Associate Professors; and only 15% of full Professors; 11% of Department Chairs; 11% of Department Chairs; 45% of Assistant Deans; 29% of Associate and Senior Associate Deans; and just 10% of full Deans. 45% of Assistant Deans; 29% of Associate and Senior Associate Deans; and just 10% of full Deans. *Association of American Medical Colleges –

8 Special Glass Ceiling Barriers to Leadership for Women Being women of color Being women of color Being economically disadvantaged Being economically disadvantaged Having more limited formal education Having more limited formal education Note: Because items 2 and 3 are more prevalent among women of color, they merit special attention. women of color, they merit special attention.

9 Targets of Leadership Opportunity for Women Hospitals; medical, dental and public health schools Hospitals; medical, dental and public health schools Managed care organizations/HMOs Managed care organizations/HMOs Pharmaceutical, lab & equipment companies Pharmaceutical, lab & equipment companies Health centers and group practices Health centers and group practices

10 Targets of Leadership Opportunity for Women (Cont.) Policy analysts and policymakers Policy analysts and policymakers - Federal, state and local elected officials and their staffs (the latter are often more powerful than the former) - Federal, state and local elected officials and their staffs (the latter are often more powerful than the former) - Governmental,corporate/business, and non-profit organization administrators and managers - Governmental,corporate/business, and non-profit organization administrators and managers

11 Targets of Leadership Opportunity for Women (Cont.) Health services researchers Health services researchers - In order to have an active role in both the definition and monitoring of health disparities. - In order to have an active role in both the definition and monitoring of health disparities. - In order to play an active role in defining, implementing and monitoring cultural competency criteria, curricula - In order to play an active role in defining, implementing and monitoring cultural competency criteria, curricula and programs. and programs.

12 Key Strategy for Individual and Group Action: Become knowledgeable about health: Become knowledgeable about health: - Preventive, public & community health - Key personal health care issues - Health policy and administration - Health policy and administration - Health services research (to monitor, - Health services research (to monitor, thus impact on health disparities) thus impact on health disparities)

13 Key Strategy for Individual and Group Action: Identify/develop, and participate in peer support groups at all levels. Identify/develop, and participate in peer support groups at all levels. Male leaders do it, through formal and informal (quasi-social) meetings Male leaders do it, through formal and informal (quasi-social) meetings (golf outings, university club meetings, etc.) (golf outings, university club meetings, etc.) Women leaders and would-be leaders can also benefit from support groups. Women leaders and would-be leaders can also benefit from support groups.

14 Peer Support Strategies for Women/Developing Leaders Plan places and times to: - Take your shoes off (sometimes) - Relax with selected colleagues/friends - Talk off the record talk - Plan and strategize for personal, social and business upward mobility

15 Features of Effective Leadership Development Support Groups - Have/develop a clear mission - Have/develop a clear plan – goals, discrete and measurable objectivities, action steps and an evaluation plan - Have/develop an active and ongoing advocacy component Note: Sustained advocacy generates leaders

16 Key Advocacy Possibilities More w omen in health leadership More w omen in health leadership More womens health services More womens health services Elimination of targeted racial, ethnic and Elimination of targeted racial, ethnic and womens health disparities womens health disparities Health insurance coverage issues - in the work place, governmental and Health insurance coverage issues - in the work place, governmental and managed health care/HMO settings, etc. managed health care/HMO settings, etc.

17 Key Advocacy Possibilities (Cont.) Governmental policies, such as: Governmental policies, such as: - Medicare Part D prescription drug issue - Medicare Part D prescription drug issue - Health insurance coverage for obesity, depression and other conditions that - Health insurance coverage for obesity, depression and other conditions that disproportionately affect women, disproportionately affect women, Coverage for uninsured children and teens Coverage for uninsured children and teens

18 A Key Health Resource for Women and Women on the Move Health Powers Web Site at Provides information and promotion services that are: Authoritative - User-friendly - Culturally Relevant Authoritative - User-friendly - Culturally Relevant Key features include: Womens Health Channel Food and Fitness Channel Glossary: What It Means Racial and Ethnic Channels

19 Health Powers Web Address underscores our purpose: Health Power for Minorities. We also actively support Health Power for Women. For both groups, remember our motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!


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