Frontiers: Women in Healthcare Leadership - Voices from the C-Suite

Volume 28 Number 4 Summer 2012
Editorial - Taking the Reins of Transformation

In this era of challenge and change, healthcare organizations need leaders as diverse and dynamic as the communities they serve. As one author observes in this issue of Frontiers, “diversity that starts in the boardroom and trickles down to all levels of management improves financial performance and increases stakeholder commitment.” Though the importance of female representation in the C-suite and on boards has been talked about for decades, reality woefully lags.

This issue’s authors share their stories of career success and in doing so may help future female leaders unlock the doors to the C-suite and boardroom. In her feature, Alyson Pitman Giles, FACHE, offers seven key principles that will benefit aspiring CEOs—female or male—as they seek to move up in their organizations. Feature author Teri Fontenot, FACHE, details her path to the C-suite and discusses the role of women in healthcare leadership. The commentators offer an alternative to the career ladder, explore generational differences among female healthcare leaders, and share the importance of mentorship and sponsorship in professional success.

Women who serve as CEOs and on boards bring with them a transformational presence and strategic influence. They demonstrate every day that leadership is about people and dedication, firmness balanced with gentleness, a vision that envelops each day’s goals and workload, and a focus on measurable objectives in light of constrained financial resources. To improve the health and productivity of our population, ensure the avoidance of preventable errors, and significantly improve outcomes, healthcare delivery needs to be transformed at its core. Female leaders are a key part of the solution. They are ready to design and lead the transformation that is upon us.

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