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A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the Health Care Sector

DiverseCity Counts report highlights opportunities and challenges in senior management and boards

 

TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Released today in partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital, the eighth DiverseCity Counts report looks at the diversity of the GTA's health care leaders (http://diversecitytoronto.ca/counts). While past Counts reports have focused solely on visible minorities, "A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the Health Care Sector" broadens the scope of diversity to include sex/gender identity, visible minorities, disability, and sexual orientation.

"It matters that leaders in the health care sector are diverse," says report author Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network Hospitals. "Senior management teams and governance boards in health care institutions play a critical role in setting mandates and priorities, and shaping services to help meet the needs of patients and employees. It is this leadership, for example, that has the influence and authority to recognize and acknowledge needs, approve systemic changes, and prioritize and commit the resources necessary to respond." Dr. Sinha, Author of Report

 

Key findings are:

  • Women are well represented in leadership - Women make up the majority (61%) of senior management teams, and 40% of governance board members.

 

  • Visible minorities are under-represented, but this varies widely between institutions - Only 16% of senior management and 14% of board members were reported as visible minorities. Four in ten institutions reported no visible minorities in senior management, as did nearly one-fifth of board.

 

 

Dr. Sinha, Director of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital & author of report

  • Few people with a disability in leadership - Across the health care sector, in senior management and on boards, only 1% of leadership was reported to be people with a disability.

 

  • Few lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer (LGBQ) individuals in leadership, with a few exceptions - About 3-4% of leadership were reported as LGBQ individuals, though this includes a few institutions that reported many individuals, and a majority of institutions that reported none.

 

"In Canada, we place an enormous trust in our health care system," says Ratna Omidvar, President of Maytree, and Co-chair of DiverseCity. "But with this trust comes responsibility. The responsibility to recognize the needs of and serve all patients equitably and respectfully. The responsibility to reflect the community throughout the ranks of the institution. The responsibility to include the community in decision-making and governance. That is why we call for diverse leadership in all of our institutions."

This latest DiverseCity Counts report is only a snapshot and does not examine all of the efforts or progress made by the health care sector to diversify their leadership.

"We know that leading health care institutions are committed to diversity in leadership and are taking action to make it happen," says John Tory, Chair of CivicAction and Co-Chair of DiverseCity. "However, in the health care sector overall, it is safe to say that more work remains to be done."

DiverseCity Counts is an initiative of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, a project of Maytree and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction), funded in part by the government of Ontario. Since 2009, the DiverseCity Counts reports have analyzed visible minority representation in leadership across the GTA. www.diversecitytoronto.ca.

Click here to download a copy of the full report.

SOURCE Maytree Foundation