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News Article

Women Account for Just 6 Percent of Leadership Roles in Health

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 06/23/2022 - 13:40

Despite representing over half of the health workforce in Mexico, women occupy only 6 percent of its managerial positions and earn 18.3 percent less than men, found a study by “México ¿Como Vamos?”

The study found that during the past three years, women represented two-thirds of the personnel employed in the health sector: 67.7 percent in 2019, 67.5 percent in 2020 and 65.7 percent in 2021. Their distribution is also uneven, with women being greatly overrepresented among nursing staff but underrepresented among doctors. About 35.26 percent of women employed in the health sector are nurses, 12.63 percent are treating physicians in a clinic or hospital and 9.23 percent are independent female physicians.

This gap is similar in decision-making positions. While 11.13 percent of men employed in the health sector have a managerial position, only 6.03 percent of women do. For all positions except nursing, women face a wage gap of 18.3 percent.

“In addition to the wage gap, there is also a very significant gap in unpaid housework and care work between men and women. Women spend almost three times as many hours on this type of work as men,” says Mexico ¿Como Vamos?

Female healthcare workers in Mexico and Latin America are using their experiences to address increasing female leadership in the sector. In the private sector, “to achieve gender equality, every policy, training, employee research group, talent acquisition process, sponsorship program and flexible work arrangements need to be planned. Offering maternal and paternal leave also has to be a priority,” said Luly de Samper, International Vice President of Medical Devices in Latin America, Johnson & Johnson.

While the public sector has introduced actions to reduce gender gaps in health access, concrete points to reduce the sector’s gender gap in leadership positions, wages, unpaid house and care work are still pending to be formally addressed. As Mexico works to provide universal health coverage, a study by Human Resources for Health suggests that policies for healthcare HR should focus on gender equity in job responsibilities, promotion, retention and remuneration.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
México ¿Como Vamos?
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst