Gen­der pay gap still a stark re­al­ity for health­care ex­ec­u­tives, em­ploy­ees

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Dave Barkholz

NASHVILLE—Women hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tives can start clos­ing the pay gap with their male coun­ter­parts by truly ne­go­ti­at­ing com­pen­sa­tion rather than ac­cept­ing first of­fers, C-suite lead­ers said last week at the Mod­ern Health­care Women Lead­ers in Health­care con­fer­ence.

Kathy Lan­caster, who has been chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of gi­ant Kaiser Per­ma­nente for 12 years, told about 300 con­fer­ence at­ten­dees that she passed on the job over work/fam­ily-life bal­ance is­sues.

“I told them (ini­tially) that I didn’t have the band­width,” she said.

She had three chil­dren at home at the time and the po­si­tion cen­tral­ized ev­ery­thing from au­dits and cash­flow to putting to­gether bond is­sues for cap­i­tal needs at the na­tion’s largest in­te­grated health sys­tem with rev­enue to­day of about $70 bil­lion. Af­ter Lan­caster said she would not grad­u­ate from in­terim CFO to the per­ma­nent po­si­tion, man­age­ment and the board re­struc­tured the job to put some re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with other fi­nance ex­ec­u­tives to give Lan­caster the time she needed for fam­ily.

That theme of build­ing a last­ing ca­reer echoed through­out the con­fer­ence, which was geared around pro­vid­ing women with tools and con­tacts to ad­vance their ca­reers.

Other speak­ers in­cluded Ven­tas CEO De­bra Ca­faro, Yale New Haven Health Sys­tem CEO Marna Borgstrom and Nancy Sch­licht­ing, re­cently re­tired as CEO of Henry Ford Health Sys­tem.

Women are still heav­ily un­der­rep­re­sented in health­care C-suites and on boards of di­rec­tors. And they earn far less than their male coun­ter­parts, in­clud­ing in the nurs­ing pro­fes­sion.

Women CEOs of hos­pi­tals earn 22% less than their male coun­ter­parts, a dif­fer­ence that equates to about $132,000 in an­nual in­come, said Paula Song, pro­gram di­rec­tor of the health pol­icy and man­age­ment depart­ment at the Univer­sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Song led a CEO com­pen­sa­tion study, which is still be­ing vet­ted for pub­li­ca­tion, look­ing at In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice fil­ings from 1,500 not-for-profit hos­pi­tals to get the data.

Her re­search also found that male nurses on av­er­age earn $5,000 more an­nu­ally than fe­male nurses, even though they make up just 5% of the nurse work­force.

Both the C-suite and pay dis­par­i­ties speak to bi­ases that per­sist in hos­pi­tal cul­tures and the need for more men­tor­ing of women ex­ec­u­tives, Glo­ria Goins, chief di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion of­fi­cer at 19-hos­pi­tal Bon Se- cours Health Sys­tem, told at­ten­dees.

To keep break­ing the glass ceil­ing, women ex­ec­u­tives need to en­ter job in­ter­views pre­pared to state the value propo­si­tion they bring to or­ga­ni­za­tions and be in­formed about the go­ing in­dus­try salaries for the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties they seek, said De­bra Canales, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer at gi­ant Prov­i­dence St. Joseph Health, based in Ren­ton, Wash.

“You have to know what you want,” said Canales, who pre­vi­ously worked in man­age­ment at Macy’s, Pepsi and Hewlett-Packard.

Teri Fon­tenot, CEO of Woman’s Hos­pi­tal in Ba­ton Rouge, La., also was un­in­ter­ested in her post when it was of­fered to her 21 years ago. The hos­pi­tal at the time was deal­ing with physi­cians dis­grun­tled with man­age­ment, and she didn’t want to walk into a hor­net’s nest.

But Fon­tenot told her re­cruiters that she would take two weeks to talk with each of the med­i­cal staff in­di­vid­u­ally to see if the is­sues could be de­fused.

Af­ter those con­ver­sa­tions, Fon­tenot said, she was con­fi­dent that physi­cians were ready for the new ad­min­is­tra­tion and she took the job. The les­son is that women ex­ec­u­tives need to ask for what they want and be au­then­tic be­cause there’s noth­ing to fear from boards and em­ploy­ers when they are con­fi­dent in their own skins, Fon­tenot said.

“I told them (ini­tially) that I didn’t have the band­width.” Kathy Lan­caster Chief fi­nan­cial offi cer Kaiser Per­ma­nente “You have to know what you want.” De­bra Canales Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive offi cer Prov­i­dence St. Joseph Health

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.