WISH 2018 to host women lead­ers in health­care

Gulf Times - - QATAR -

World In­no­va­tion Sum­mit for Health (WISH) 2018 will hold the ‘Women Lead­ers in Health­care Cir­cle’ meet­ing for the first time at the WISH 2018.

Some of the key top­ics that might be dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing in­clude ‘Why are highly-qual­i­fied women still vastly un­der­rep­re­sented in top­pay­ing jobs? How is un­der­stand­ing the role of na­ture ver­sus nur­ture key to clos­ing the gen­der gap in the work­place? and how can the glass ceil­ing be shat­tered in the fu­ture?

Sul­tana Afd­hal, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, WISH, says, “Em­pow­er­ing women in the work­place is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, par­tic­u­larly women in the same field of prac­tice. The vi­sion for the Women’s Cir­cle is to cre­ate a truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive, global group of fe­male lead­ers in health. We are hop­ing that dis­cus­sions held by the group will help ac­cel­er­ate progress in solv­ing some of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing the health in­dus­try.”

In­au­gu­ral dis­cus­sions will fo­cus on set­ting pri­or­i­ties and iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for fe­male lead­ers, in a bid to cor­rect gen­der im­bal­ance and po­si­tion women at the fore­front of health in­no­va­tion. The group that will con­vene at WISH in­cludes a for­mer pres­i­dent, min­is­ters, CEOs, aca­demics, lead­ers of NGOs and women with ac­tive roles in run­ning some of the world’s largest na­tional health­care sys­tems.

“Cur­rently, although women make up the ma­jor­ity of the work­force in the health­care sec­tor, only 19% of hospi­tal CEOs are fe­male, and only 4% head up health­care com­pa­nies,” Afd­hal says, quot­ing The State of Women in Health­care re­port. “So, why does the glass ceil­ing still ex­ist in the 21st cen­tury, and how can we over­come it? This will be a chal­leng­ing task but an achiev­able one if all stake­hold­ers join ef­forts.”

Ac­cord­ing to a 2017 sur­vey of over 300 women in the health­care in­dus­try, con­ducted by Rock Health, nearly half (45.4%) of re­spon­dents be­lieve it will take 25 or more years un­til gen­der par­ity is achieved in the work­place, while only 7.5% say it will hap­pen in the next five years. Wor­ry­ingly, 16.1% of re­spon­dents say gen­der par­ity will never be ac­com­plished.

“Through WISH Women’s Cir­cle, we seek to de­vise a strat­egy to em­power other women to take re­spon­si­bil­ity, and ed­u­cate oth­ers to com­bat gen­der dis­par­ity,” Afd­hal ex­plains, adding that a fe­male leader is re­spon­si­ble for bal­anc­ing her re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as an ad­vo­cate for women’s rights while si­mul­ta­ne­ously fo­cus­ing on ad­vanc­ing her ca­reer. To achieve this ob­jec­tive, Afd­hal ar­gues that some women must first ad­dress and over­come a num­ber of ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges. These will be the sub­ject of thor­ough dis­cus­sions at the WISH Women’s Cir­cle.

The pros and cons of pos­i­tive dis­crim­i­na­tion will be one of the top­ics up for de­bate by cir­cle mem­bers, to­gether with the so-called ‘Queen Bee Syn­drome’ whereby fe­male ex­ec­u­tives may per­ceive other women as a threat.

This year’s sum­mit will fea­ture 11 ‘Young In­no­va­tors’ from around the world who will be ex­hibit­ing their in­ge­nious health­care-re­lated prod­ucts, many of which serve to sup­port poor and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

WISH 2018 will pro­vide fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for around 2,000 lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional health­care ex­perts, in­no­va­tors, en­trepreneurs, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and min­is­ters from more than 100 coun­tries to ex­plore ar­eas of col­lab­o­ra­tion and work to­wards shap­ing the fu­ture of global health­care.

Sul­tana Afd­hal speak­ing at an event.

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