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Research published in The Lancet’s EClinical Medicine identifies three themes that are central for organisations to implement and embed to advance women in leadership, with specific lessons in healthcare.

Gender inequity in leadership, including in healthcare, persists and progress is slow.  It focuses on problems, barriers and on requiring women themselves to adapt and compete in a system not designed for them.   

Women are individually burdened to advance their careers, with little effort given to addressing systemic barriers.

Professor Helena Teede, Director of the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, together with Mariam Mousa, whose PhD is dedicated to this work, led this meta-ethnographic study as part of the NHMRC-funded Advancing Women in Healthcare Leadership.

The research identified the following three organisational themes:

  1. Leadership commitment and accountability, influenced by internal and external organisational settings, salient for long term outcomes and for developing an inclusive leadership culture.
  2. Intervention fit with individuals with consideration given to personal beliefs, preferences, experiences, capabilities or life circumstances, including capacity for leadership roles in their broader life context; balanced against maintaining interventional fidelity. 
  3. Cultural climate and organisational readiness for change, addressing traditional, conservative and constrictive perspectives on gender and leadership in health, highlighting the facilitating role of male colleagues.

These evidence-based factors are at an organisational level and will inform initiatives and policymakers to advance women in leadership positions across diverse industry settings.

Read the full paper in the Lancet’s EClinical Medicine.

Media enquiries: info.mchri@monash.edu,  +61 3 85722600