European Union of Private Hospitals

Gender equality in the health sector

APRIL 2019.

By Olga Schiopu, CEO at Medpark International Hospital

Regarding my experience as entrepreneur – I do not have my business, I am running a business, which is a slight difference. Nevertheless, of course I have to understand and forecast as accurate as possible external driving forces that influence the business that I am running. So, active role in society, communication with all stakeholders is a must for a person in top managerial position.

I have to accept that communication with some stakeholders is gender biased in my country, and probability for a woman to be less efficient than man specifically in this aspect could be significant. Inside of the organization, hospital in my case, there are no gender conditioned outcomes.

Which pieces of advice would you give to young women who wish to undertake a managerial career in the healthcare sector?

Biases regarding gender inequity are generated by people, by us. If you strongly believe in equal chances and capabilities regardless of gender, like I do, it is very improbable that you’ll experience difficulties because you’re a woman. Coming to women in managerial roles in the healthcare sector, especially in the European region, there are plenty of opportunities. Successful managers in healthcare usually adopt participative type of management, are focused on collaboration, have strong transformational leadership features – all of these characteristics are proven to be genetically more pronounced in women. I’d say that the healthcare sector should have a women leaders/managers domination, this is a very logical way.

What needs to be done today to ensure that there are more women in senior positions tomorrow in health facilities and more female doctors in senior positions in hospitals?

Maybe to talk less about gender inequity for women in top positions and to talk much more about successful women that transform the European healthcare landscape, being managers or physicians. It is important to change the society perception that a person in a senior management position is more frequently a man than a woman. The top- manager choice for the stakeholders in the healthcare sector would be much simpler, based upon his/her capabilities regardless of the gender. We are the decision makers and the stakeholders.

Message for the women that want managerial career in the healthcare sector: „Be professional and compete only on professional level, this is the most important and do not forget to communicate efficiently with everyone around you, because no communication = no leader. Believe in Your Human Intellectual self!“