26. Empowering Women Leaders in Health (Workshop)

Background: The pace at which women attain leadership positions is slower than would be anticipated given their historical and increasing representation in the health labour force. Women constitute over 80% of health workers, yet they occupy proportionately fewer leadership positions. In prestigious teaching hospitals in Ontario, for example, there are only four of the 23 CEOs are women. In Canada, there have only ever been five Deans of Faculties of Medicine who are women. Indigenous and Two Spirit Women holding leadership positions in the health context is also lacking, which represents an opportunity for a systemic-level response to the TRC Calls to Action.

Overall objective for the workshop: To introduce gender-responsive tools that will allow participants to analyze individual, team, organization and system-level change to increase the participation, visibility, diversity and advancement of women.

Originality and innovation: The EWoLiH project, undertaken in partnership between the CIHR Chair in Gender, Work and Health, the Telfer School of Management, CHLNet and CCHL, is the only one of its kind in Canada.

Relevance to the conference theme [Healthcare innovation: Advancing better outcomes and economic growth]:  We draw inspiration from the second recommendation from the United Nations (UN) High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (2016) which stresses that we need to “maximize women’s economic participation and foster their empowerment through institutionalizing their leadership.” (p. 4).

Ideas to be explored, skills to be acquired, or problems to be addressed: The workshop will begin with two presentations: one on an overview of the EWoLiH initiative and the second on the LEADS-based tool kit of promising individual, team, organizational and system-level practices. Following these short presentations, the participants will break out into smaller working groups to discuss the challenges and enablers to women’s leadership facilitated by the project investigators and research associates.

Intended learning outcomes for participants: Participants will be able to apply promising practices at the individual, team, organizational and system level to advance women’s participation in leadership positions in health care and health science contexts, and Indigenous women and Two Spirit leaders in the Indigenous health context.


Ivy L Bourgeault – Telfer School of Management

Jamie Lundine – University of Ottawa




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