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DIVERSITY: Which efforts work at work? Which don’t?

The authors, who are sociology professors, studied diversity efforts in over 800 U.S. companies to draw conclusions about what works and what doesn’t.  Here are their findings.

Diversity efforts that actually make organizations LESS diverse

  • Mandatory diversity training for managers
  • Testing job applicants
  • Grievance systems

Diversity efforts that help increase diversity

  • Voluntary diversity training
  • Self-managed teams
  • Cross-training
  • College recruitment efforts that target women and minorities
  • Mentoring
  • Diversity task forces
  • Diversity managers

Source: Dobbin, F., and Kalev, A. (2016, July-Aug.). Why diversity programs fail.: And what works better. Harvard Business Review, 94(7/8), 52-60.  Click here: https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

WOMEN: What percent of health care workforce is female?

Percent Females in Healthcare Workforce (as of roughly 2010 to 2012)

  • 74 percent total
  • 71 percent mid-level managers
  • 54 percent executive officers/senior officers
  • 24 percent senior execs
  • 18 percent hospital CEOs

Diversified Search Data on Background of Hospital CEOs

  • For men
    • 35.7 percent medicine
    • 16.7 percent finance
    • 14.3 percent administration
  • For women
    • 43.9 percent nursing
    •   9.6 percent medicine
    •   6.4 percent finance
    •   6.4 percent human resources
    •   6.4 percent administration

Source: The ultimate data sources for the “percent female” data are cited as the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the American Hospital Association, as published in: Hauser, M.C. (2014, September-October). Leveraging women’s leadership talent in healthcare. Journal of Healthcare Management. 59(5), 318-322.  Click here for access to article: http://coles.kennesaw.edu/centers/womens-leadership-center/docs/JHM59-FINAL_Hauser%20col_perm-to-link%20lg.pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Diversity and Disparities: a Benchmark Study of U.S. Hospitals in 2013

Three key ways hospitals and health systems can address disparities in health care are:

  1. Increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference [REAL] data to identify where disparities exist
  2. Increase cultural competency training to ensure caregivers and other staff have a deeper understanding of diverse patients and their individual needs
  3. Increase leadership and governance diversity

A new survey report looks at what hospitals are doing on these 3 fronts, learning more about the strategies used and providing benchmarks for gauging hospital progress.

Top line survey results found:

  • Most hospitals are actively collecting patient demographic data — 97% collect data on race, 94% on ethnicity, and 95% on primary language.
  • 86% of hospitals provide cultural competency training to clinical staff, while nearly 65% require all employees to attend diversity training.
  • Minorities comprise 14% of hospital trustees, 12% of executive leadership, and 17% of first- and mid-management positions.
  • Nearly a third of patients are from a minority group.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute compares how the U.S. and European Union approach eliminating health disparities. One key difference: the U.S. has focused primarily on racial/ethnic disparities rather than economic inequities, although they are often intertwined.


Diversity and disparities: a benchmark study of U.S. hospitals in 2013. Institute for Diversity in Health Management; Health Research & Educational Trust, 2014. http://www.diversityconnection.org/diversityconnection/leadership-conferences/diversity_disparities_Benchmark_study_hospitals_2013.pdf

Docteur E; Berenson RA. In pursuit of health equity: comparing U.S. and EU approaches to eliminating disparities. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Urban Institute, June 2014. http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2014/rwjf414060

Related sources:

Earlier benchmarking surveys: 2011 2009

Equity of Care web site, a collaboration of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, and America’s Essential Hospitals. Accessed June 25 at http://www.equityofcare.org/

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org