COVER STORY

Early ex­pe­ri­ences, men­tors in­spire mi­nor­ity ex­ec­u­tives to help oth­ers

Modern Healthcare - - Front Page - Re­becca Ve­sely

With the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion set­ting the pace for di­ver­sity in lead­er­ship, health­care is racing to catch up. Di­ver­sity is here, says Ge­orge Her­nan­dez Jr., left, one of this year’s Top 25 Mi­nor­ity Ex­ec­u­tives in Health­care. “The real thing we can af­fect is whether we will de­velop the next gen­er­a­tion to take the place of the baby boomer gen­er­a­tion.”

More than a year into Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s first term in of­fice, it’s worth re­flect­ing on the gains made in di­ver­sity at the top. The na­tion’s first black pres­i­dent has se­lected a di­verse Cab­i­net, with Hilda So­lis, a Latina, as la­bor sec­re­tary; Eric Holder, who’s black, as at­tor­ney gen­eral; and two Asian-Amer­i­cans, Steven Chu and Gary Locke, serv­ing as sec­re­taries of en­ergy and com­merce, re­spec­tively.

The coun­try sees di­ver­sity on the White House staff, and rep­re­sent­ing U.S. in­ter­ests abroad, with Su­san Rice, an African-Amer­i­can, for in­stance, serv­ing as U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions.

So where is health­care at when it comes to di­ver­sity in lead­er­ship?

A re­cent sur­vey sug­gests the in­dus­try still has a ways to go.

White men con­tinue to dom­i­nate the top health­care man­age­ment po­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to a 2008 sur­vey of 1,500 mem­bers of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Health­care Ex­ec­u­tives and the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Health Ser­vices Ex­ec­u­tives.

Some 56% of white men sur­veyed held top jobs of CEO, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer or se­nior vice pres­i­dent. Mean­while, 37% of His­panic women and 31% of white women held th­ese top posts. And 39% of black men sur­veyed held po­si­tions in the high­est lev­els of man­age­ment, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

White men earned more. In 2007, white male health­care ex­ec­u­tives earned on av­er­age 30% more than black male ex­ec­u­tives. The white men sur­veyed earned a me­dian of $168,200 that year, while black men earned $117,500. His­panic men earned 21% less than white men, or a me­dian of $132,300. Asian men earned $111,300, or 34% less than their white male coun­ter­parts.

Women also lagged be­hind in earn­ings. White women earned 25% less than white men, or a me­dian of $126,700 in 2007. Black women earned 23% less than white women, or $97,700. His­panic women earned slightly more, at a me­dian of $101,200, and Asian women earned 22% less than white women, or $98,900, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey.

Con­trol­ling for ed­u­ca­tion and years of health­care man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence, white men still earned the most com­pared with their peers.

Mi­nor­ity health­care ex­ec­u­tives re­ported lower job sat­is­fac­tion, too. Black women ex­pressed the low­est level of sat­is­fac­tion in their ca­reers, while white re­spon­dents were the most sat­is­fied on the job. Black women

VIEW mod­ern­health­care.com/mi­nor­i­tyex­ecs-gallery

A photo al­bum of the Top 25 Mi­nor­ity Ex­ec­u­tives at

Paula Autry has been pres­i­dent of Mount Carmel East hospi­tal in Colum­bus, Ohio, since 2007.

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