Women in Leadership Roles, Research Paper Example
Words: 1626Research Paper
Research Question: Why is there a small percentage of women in leadership roles in the mental health field?
Significance of the Problem
Mental health problems have been addressed by women in the 20th Century several times. According to the Carter Center (online), First Lady Rosalynn Carter has started promoting mental health and the development of treatments available. Since then, in 1992 the first Mental Health Day has been organized by WFMH, (The World Federation for Mental Health), and the International Committee of Women Leaders for Mental Health has been founded later on. However, recent research shows that the percentage of women leading mental health organizations and health care institutions remains low. This fact is in contrast with the conclusion drawn by O’Hagan, who models the desired competencies, all relevant to female leaders, as well as males. The detailed review of the model would be presented in the “Literature Review” section of this study.
The percentage of women in leadership position within general health care has increased in the previous years, it is important to note that according to the AMA (2008), the general proportion of women in the health care profession (not only leaders) was still only 27.8 percent in 2007. The study would reveal the proportion of female leaders within mental health care to be compared with the above industry-specific statistics.
Purpose of the Study
The study is created to review the related statistics and literature in order to develop an answer to the research question. The research would use different theories related to the cause of the disparities between sexes. The thesis questions would be related to these theories; different angles of leadership, such as personal motivation, leadership model, selection methods of health care providers, diversity policies and the number of available suitable applicants for the position will be examined.
The literature review would support the research in order to gain an insight into leadership roles, statistical data and CEO selection methods.
O’Hagan (2009) lists the main desired competencies of mental health service leaders. It is truly important to review these desired skills and traits, as they would be the basis of the research.
- understanding mental health issues
- understanding stakeholders
- knowledge of the system
- strategic thinking
- organizational skills
- meeting multiple accountabilities
- meeting protocols
- positive communication skills and constructive approach
It is evident that there are no skills listed in the section that female leaders might not hold, therefore, there is no reason why the proportion of women in managerial position is lower than the demographic figures.
Gardiner and Tiggemann (1999) talked about the diversity of industries, and examined the problems women and men face in workplace. The authors found that many female leaders find it difficult to adjust to a stereotypically feminine leadership style, and the study should be examined in order to eliminate or prove this cause of the inequality. However, the study also talks about different leadership styles and approaches, and this will also be useful for the analysis of the answers.
The CEJA Report B – I-90 (APA, 2008) confirms that the most effective way of dealing with disparities, and the authors suggest that while females’ complaints are often dismissed by male physicians, (p.3.) female leaders are accused of “without supporting evidence, this difference to “overanxiousness” or overutilization on the part of women”. This hypothesis should also be examined in details. One of the recommendations of the study list “Increasing numbers of female physicians in leadership positions.” (p.6.) Further, the conclusion confirms that “The AMA should continue its efforts to insure access to higher-level positions in medicine for female physicians.”. (p. 7.) This would lead to the original research question: “why is the percentage of women in mental health care leadership low?”
Research Questions and Hypotheses
The research study is looking to reveal the reasons behind the tendency that there are much fewer female leaders in mental health management than males.
The combination of quantitative and qualitative design would result in obtaining superior evidence. Female and male leaders of mental health institutions (both state and private) would be interviewed in order to determine the differences between their leadership styles through qualitative research. The Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire’s (LBDQ; Stogdill, 1963; Stogdill, Goode & Day, 1962) self-report version (Randolph & Blackburn 1989 would be used to record the answers.
Another quantitative research would collect data from fifty different mental health care providers in order to determine the proportion of women in leadership position. The percentages would be recorded for further research.
Further to the quantitative and self-report research, the authors of the current study would like to record qualitative data to determine whether the health care provider has a diversity and equality policy document, and whether the guidelines are adhered to when selecting leaders.
The data would be collected and analyzed to answer the following questions:
- Are there major differences between female and male leadership types?
- Are there more or less available postgraduate physicians among women or men suitable for a leadership position in a health care organization?
- Are female leaders “pushed aside” for being too emotional and irrational? Do male mental health professionals agree the above statement? (survey setting)
- Is there a clear policy within health care organizations to guarantee diversity and inclusion? Are the guidelines adhered to?
The participants would be asked whether it would be beneficial to create “women only” mental health services (NIMHE, 3003)
The population used for the research would be the managerial staff of 50 state-owned and private hospitals. The sample size would be minimum 50, and the participants would be selected among CEOs and Directors of Operations. Therefore, both males and females would be examined for leadership style for comparison purposes. Further, data from ten universities providing health care leadership postgraduate training would be assessed to collect statistical data of the admission, and demographic structure of the courses.
Data would also be collected from 50 mental health care providers, regarding their diversity policy and the guidelines regarding the elimination of discrimination.
Databases and Keywords
Keywords: mental health, leadership, women in health care, women in leadership, mental health leadership, women health care, mental illness of women, women only mental health service, health care utilization
Research and statistics published by the WHO would be used during the research, and the Nations for Mental Health Report (2002) would provide the study overall data. However, there are some other databases and statistics to be used to prove the thesis of the current study, related to the training admission, qualified leaders, practitioners and the number of males and females working as leaders.
Academic publications of AMA and NIH, as well as Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Dissertation and thesis, EBSCO Host, Emerald Insight Management, HW Wilson, Infotrac, JSTOR, ProQuest Psychology Journals would also be researched to retrieve data regarding disparities and statistics regarding health care and utilization. The PubMed Database would be used to research relevant studies and statistics.
The researcher would use a correlational design for the analysis of the data. Variables, such as age, gender, size of organization, qualification and ethnic background would be recorded through validated questionnaires. The collected data would be compared to the statistical references in order to answer the research questions and determine whether women choose to stay out of leadership positions or the industry of health care is still male-dominated.
The results of the gender survey among fifty small to medium size health care institutions would be compared to the national statistics, in order to be able to determine whether there are differences based on the health care field.
The thesis statement would conclude that women are not represented in leadership positions within health care facilities according to the proportion of qualified female professionals. The statement would also assume that health care leadership is still male-oriented and females are not considered suitable to deal with the stress and are unable to get promoted for a managerial position because males assume that female physicians are more “emotional and sensitive” than males.
International Committee of Women Leaders for Mental Health. Online. http://www.cartercenter.org/health/mental_health/intl_women.html
O’Hagan, M. (2009) LEADERSHIP FOR EMPOWERMENT AND EQUALITY: A proposed model for mental health user/survivor leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2009.
American Medical Association & Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S., 2008 Online. https://catalog.amaassn.org/MEDIA/ProductCatalog/m1990045/PCDSamplePgs2010.pdf
Gardiner, M., Tiggemann, M. (1999) Gender differences in leadership style, job stress and mental health in male- and female-dominated industries. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (1999), 72, 301–315 Printed in Great Britain. 1999 The British Psychological Society. Online. http://www.geocities.ws/lazaridous/MulticulturalBbrandLoyalty.pdf
CEJA Report B – I-90 (2008) AMA Gender Disparities in Clinical Decision-Making.
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Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics, 2003
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Wiskoh, C., Albrecht, T., de Pietro, C. How to create an attractive and supportive working environment for health professionals. Online. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/124416/e94293.pdf
NIMHE (2003) Women-only and women-sensitive mental health services. Online. http://its- services.org.uk/silo/files/womenonly-and-womensensitive-mental-health-services.pdf
Williams, J., Watson, G., Smith, H., Copperman, J. and Wood, D. 1993. Purchasing Effective Mental Health Services for Women: A Framework for Action. London: MIND Publications
Center of Health Disparities. Online. http://www.adventisthealthcare.com/health- disparities/resources/
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