For decades women have served in the healthcare industry as the back bone of healthcare. They continue to work in all areas but have been given few opportunities to take leadership roles in healthcare organizations. This paper explores some of the reasons why women are circumvented in leadership roles and how women can be better prepared to lead in their organizations. The research concluded that women are effective leaders in comparison to their male counter parts.
Leadership is an important concept in healthcare. It can simply be acknowledged as the ability to achieve a goal by using imagination, skill, relevant theory, and concepts that are supposed to lead an organization to success. The research conducted for this paper clearly demonstrates that women are an integral part of the ever changing healthcare domain as it relates to leadership. The need for gender diversity in leadership positions is critical for many organizations, especially in healthcare (Virick & Greer, 2012). Despite the fact that leadership is a complex social role, that arises from the actions to effect others in their roles, women can carry out such duties in the same manner, or even better than their male counterparts. (Fealy, McNamara, Casey, Geraghty, Butler, Halligan & Johnson, 2011). Historically, women have been underrepresented in leadership roles in all aspect of healthcare. As the trend of delivering care continues to change in the 21st century, the need for more women leaders cannot be ignored. Women are the majority in providing healthcare services (Kutscher, Landen, & Zigmond, 2013). For this reason, it is prudent to have women fully represented in all leadership roles and discussions in healthcare. The presence of women in these roles will lead to better policies and laws legislated by congress because they can better articulate how healthcare functions than most men. The end result will lead to better outcomes for patients and their families. Today, women are moving up in leadership, but more needs to be done so that a significant impact can be attained. Women account for 18% of hospital chief executive officers (Kutscher, Landen, & Zigmond, 2013). Furthermore, gender disparities are present in many facets of health care. For example, in many academic medical journals fewer women are promoted to higher ranks, their salaries are lower, and they receive fewer honors than men (Amrein, Langmann, Fahrleitner-Pammer, Pieber, & Zollner-Schwetz, 2011). It will be of great interest to explore some of the reasons why women are lagging in leadership and to provide a blue print for a transformational leadership in women. Effective leadership by women in healthcare is necessary to address issues of healthcare reform. In order for this to happen, we have to address the concept of empowerment (MacPhee, Skelton-Green, Bouthillette, & Suryaprakash, 2012). For instance, for this to be addressed in nursing, structural and psychological empowerment must be applied. Structural empowerment is when an organization makes it possible for advancement and provides support for potential women leaders. Women in healthcare organizations should be aware of the psychological empowerments that exist within their department. It is the view that people should be aware that in their working environment, power is to be shared throughout the organization, because each employee plays some sort of a role that leads the organization to success (MacPhee, Skelton-Green, Bouthillette, & Suryaprakash, 2012). Undoubtedly, for women to navigate the numerous obstacles to leadership can be daunting. Fortunately, they have to overcome some of the same obstacles as men do on their way up to the top (Fontenot, 2012). The idea of balancing work and other responsibilities can have enormous impact for women and their families. In some cases, young children are in the mix of this quest. Women