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A McKinsey study pinpointed the essential characteristics of leadership and set out to determine the tendencies of men and women under normal circumstances, and in times of crisis. One finding: Women are indeed more “people-oriented”—and spend more time developing and coaching other leaders in their organization. In short, women possess the qualities of transformational leaders—vision, inspiration, direction-setting and out-of-the-box thinking—though so much of even the recent press has focused on the softer skills of how they lead. In the same McKinsey study, organizations with more than three women in the C-suite scored higher on employee survey questions about “direction” and “innovation.” Women tended to display (statistically more than their male counterparts) two things during and after a crisis. The first was “expectations and rewards”: defining roles, clarifying expectations, and rewarding achievement targets. The second was “inspiration”: offering a compelling vision of the future and an optimistic implementation plan.
COVID-19 is highly contagious, unpredictable, and deadly, even with an aggressive public policy response. So, what to do? How to prepare and respond? Data from cities, states, and countries show that those who are prevailing are disproportionately those with women leaders. in some ways, this moment in history offers a fascinating and real-time opportunity to understand the consequences of leadership decisions in a high-stakes situation. Today, women in healthcare leadership roles faced an unprecedented test. So what has this pandemic shown?
Paige Dworak, FACHE
President and Chief Executive Officer
East Orange General Hospital
Pamela Abner, MPA, CPXP
Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Office for Diversity and Inclusion
The Mount Sinai Health System
Kerri Scanlon, RN, FAAN
Glen Cove Hospital
Tirsit S. Asfaw, MD, FACOG
Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery/Urogynecology
Residency Program Director
Weill Cornell Medicine
Tamisha McPherson, MPA
Chief External Affairs and Development Officer / Executive Director
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