Women Leaders and Gender Parity in Leadership

Sep 9, 2023 | Annual Meeting & Awards, Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership

By Corina Bianca

Several studies have shown that diversity produces better outcomes – more innovation, more creative solutions and, ultimately, better financial performance. 

This program, held on site of this year’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, explored the opportunities and barriers women face in the workplace, how to persevere, and ways to advocate for female peers. Panelists Rachael McKinney, President, Sutter Health Greater Sacramento, and Flo Di Benedetto, Vice President and General Counsel, Sutter Health, were joined by moderator Christianna Kearns, Senior Administrative Director, Salinas Valley Health.

They focused on current working environments that included under-representation of women in leadership roles and strategies for leveling the playing field, as well as actionable steps to help address and improve workforce diversity.  An interesting takeaway: Within the U.S., despite women comprising 65 percent of the workforce, only 30 percent hold C-suite positions, and 13 percent are CEOs. 

The discussion highlighted the positive impact of diversity on innovation, noting the improved outcomes within organizations when greater diversity percentages are achieved. McKinney and Di Benedetto explored topics including opportunities, barriers, perseverance, and advocacy for women in the workforce. At the end of the session, attendees joined the conversation for a robust Q&A session in which all three speakers shared personal struggles, vulnerabilities, and tips for women and men to be better sponsors for women within their own organizations. 

Overall, the session was engaging, insightful, and meaningful, leaving attendees with hope and optimism, and that “can do” feeling of inspiration and motivation to move the process forward and make positive changes within the companies, organizations and work-worlds they belong to.