Deborah Bowen, president and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives
MH: As you look across the healthcare leadership of the United States today, evaluate the role of women in top positions. Where are they now? Is that where it ought to be, or is there still room for improvement?
Bowen: Well, you probably know, only about 26% of hospitals have female CEOs, so certainly we have much work to do. We’re actually soon releasing our gender study, which we did the last year, and I think women are obviously making good strides, but I think women have more work to do in terms of rising in the ranks and being recognized for their leadership capabilities. I think women seem to have more of a transformational sort of leadership style, really following on collaboration skills, having followers, empowering followers, the people that they lead, and I think that style resonates well with where we are in healthcare today. So certainly there’s more work to do, but nearly half of our members now are women. That certainly wasn’t the case 20 years ago.