Although women play a primary role in making healthcare decisions for their families and 78% of the healthcare workforce is comprised of women, they are still underrepresented in leadership roles at health companies.
And that’s a shame with results from Rock Health’s survey suggesting that having women leaders and a strong gender diverse team has a clear positive impact on business.
7 out of top 10 healthcare companies in the 2015 Fortune 500 list have at least 25% of their board made up of women leaders.Rock’s latest State of Gender Diversity in Healthcare survey involved 38 women, 95 percent of whom agreed that gender diversity has a positive impact on company performance. Also included were 12 men, 58 percent of whom agreed with the same statement.
In 2015, there were 45 healthcare companies on the Fortune 500 list, and 11 percent have either a woman CTO or CIO. The amount of companies that have executive teams made up of at least 25 percent women has dropped slightly by 6 percent since 2014, but still represents a 50 percent increase since 2013.
When looking at the top 10 healthcare companies in the 2015 Fortune 500 list, 7 companies have at least 25% of their board made up of women leaders, while 9 also have women holding c-level roles across the departments of technology, information, human resources, marketing, communications and legal. McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen are examples of firms that have gender diverse boards with an average of 30% women, and more than one woman executive on their leadership team.
In the startup space, 37 percent of the 56 digital health zombie companies (which haven’t raised more than $2M since 2012) do not have a single woman on their executive team. Only 15 percent of the zombie companies are led by women CEOs, and all deadpool digital health startups (which have shut down this past year) were led by men CEOs.
During last year, we saw the growth in women founded and funded startups. While men still make up the majority of funded digital health CEOs, women led 29 companies funded in 2015, twice as many as in 2014. Of the companies founded and funded in 2015, 31 percent had a woman CEO. Average deal size in 2015 was $13.9M for companies led by men CEOs and $12.1M for companies led by women CEOs.
There has been a positive shift in how women view career development opportunities.Of the 28 most active investors (those with 4 or more deals), 16 of them invested in a company with a woman CEO, representing an increase of 25% since 2014. Venture capital firms with women partners are twice as likely to invest in a company with a woman on the management team, and three times as likely to invest in a company with a woman CEO.
However, of the 150 VC firms that invest in healthcare, 59% of them do not have a woman partner and 69% do not have a woman partner focused on healthcare. Of the VC firms that primarily invest in digital health, biotechnology and life sciences, 51% do not have a woman partner.
Although there are still major strides to be taken, the state of gender diversity is moving in a positive direction. Having a balanced number of men and women on leadership teams allows for a diversified set of opinions and perspectives that impact a company’s bottom line.
Already, we have more men CEOs and founders who are publicly advocating for the importance and benefit of gender diverse teams. Rock concludes that while gender discrimination is still an issue across all healthcare entities, there has been a positive shift in how women view career development opportunities.