More Women in Healthcare Leadership Can Deliver Better Health Outcomes
About three-quarters of the global healthcare workforce is comprised of women, but only about 25% of top healthcare positions are held by women. And yet, women experience a disproportionate burden of disease. Not only does greater gender diversity improve organizational effectiveness, but bringing more women into healthcare leadership could help address this burden-of-disease challenge.
So, it’s good news that governments in this region are looking to foster more women in leadership positions, including in healthcare. The UAE is one example, as explained by Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, Executive Dean of the Health Sciences Division of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).
“Since the foundation of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed was an advocate for the education and participation of women. The last 10 years have witnessed a great boom in the number of women healthcare providers in the UAE,” Dr. Al Hashimi said.
“Having more female leaders in leading positions will ensure that the voices of women are heard and that organizations will operate in a manner that is conducive to women — who have multiple roles and responsibilities — being able to accommodate the important social roles they hold in the community,” she added.
Training and leadership development are key components in developing tomorrow’s female healthcare leaders, and GE is helping drive that with a number of initiatives in the region. These include a program to bring more than a dozen Saudi female biomedical engineering students to the United States for hands-on internships and training. It also includes ongoing collaboration with HCT.
Dr. Al Hashimi said that increasing the number of female leaders in healthcare requires action in several areas, including crucial government support and the active commitment of the private sector.
“Moreover, women must advance fast enough to meet the current and future needs of healthcare services in their countries,” she added, “And last but not least, an educational paradigm shift is important to prepare the graduates with leadership competencies and skills.”
The GE Healthcare collaboration with HCT began in 2016 at the women’s campus in Dubai (DBW), one of 17 HCT campuses in the UAE. During 2016, GE Healthcare hosted two training events covering general ultrasound and automated breast ultrasound for more than 50 students.
Notably, during DBW’s White Coat Ceremony in November 2016, GE Healthcare was honored for its engagement and support, and was designated DBW’s ‘Knowledge Partner.’
In April of this year, seven GE Healthcare experts will participate in the first Dubai Women’s College Radiology Symposium, speaking on topics such as computed tomography, molecular imaging, and breast cancer detection.
In addition, GE Healthcare will partner with DBW for a series of one-day screening campaigns to cover topics such as renal stones and thyroid scans.
GE Healthcare has been a partner to government and private sector healthcare providers across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region for decades.