Mentors / Mentoring

The perceptions of minority workers in the health care field still vary, according to a recent national report by Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm specializing in health care and higher education. In the survey, less than 15% of health care professionals believe that hospitals have closed the diversity gap in leadership within the last five years. The report, Diversity As A Business Builder In Healthcare, also found only 35% of professionals agree that health care organizations consistently hire minority candidates.

A majority of industry leaders surveyed feel that diversity in the workplace improves patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes, and also supports successful decision making. In the study, more than half say the pool of diverse candidates for health care leadership positions has grown over the last five years. However, only 38% say it has grown in their own organizations.

“It is remarkable that even though a majority of professionals see the value of different cultures in the workplace, there is still not enough happening to close the leadership gap,” says James Gauss, Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to Witt/Kieffer’s CEO, in a press release. “Health care professionals appear to agree on what steps are necessary in order to improve the success of minorities, but there is a falloff when it comes to results. If institutions build and implement an effective diversity strategy, it will benefit their business and their patients, who must come first at health care organizations.”

It was also found that 24% of Caucasian professionals believe the diversity gap has been closed, but only 11% of minority professionals agree. Similarly, 60% of Caucasian leaders see their organizations’ cultural diversity programs as effective, while only 33% of minority professionals agree.

While the survey shows varying viewpoints across race, age, and career title, overall, health care professionals are more positive about how well minorities are represented within their own organizations compared to the industry as a whole.