Women in Leadership Special Interest Group

As the healthcare industry faces increasing challenges and opportunities, we support women leaders in healthcare to achieve their highest potential.

Improving gender equity in healthcare leadership

Despite representing 70% of the 43 million healthcare employees worldwide, women are still under-represented in senior leadership roles across the global health sector. The SIG is a community for information exchange and support in order to combat this inequity in the healthcare C-suite and boardrooms.

SIG members network and exchange through a series of virtual and in-person events throughout the year, including activities in support of International Women’s Day and the IHF World Hospital Congress.


Women in Leadership at Congress: Advancing gender equity in healthcare leadership

We were thrilled to welcome over 60 participants from 24 countries to our session at the 46th World Hospital Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, on 24 October 2023. The session focused on how hospital leaders can implement and measure policy changes to create a gender-equitable organizational culture.

Session takeaways: Women in Leadership at Congress

IHF's Women in Leadership Forum teams up with the Carol Emmott Foundation

The IHF's Women in Leadership Forum is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Carol Emmett Foundation (CEF) in the USA: a national not-for-profit working on gender equity and diversity in healthcare. There are many synergies between the objectives of CEF and the WLF and we look forward to sharing ideas and learning as we work to raise global recognition of the skills, talents, and impact of female leaders across the global healthcare sector. Together, we are committed to dismantling barriers, eliminating disparities, and promoting diversity in all aspects of healthcare leadership.

Find out more about the work of the Carol Emmott Foundation

What gender equity means for healthcare: Podcast

In this episode of the IHF's podcast, talking healthcare, Lucy Clements, Health Integration Policy Lead from NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System, UK, sat down with Dr Sawsan Abdelrazig and Dr Pascale Anglade from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to discuss health inequities in healthcare leadership.

Listen to the podcast

International Women’s Day 2023 perspectives from the IHF community

For International Women's Day 2023, we asked leaders in our community to tell us what gender equity in healthcare leadership means to them and what progress they’d like to see materialize in the future. Here are some of the messages they shared with us.

Catch up on the campaign

Turning challenges into leadership opportunities

On 1 September 2022, the Forum hosted a free online event for female healthcare leaders and managers, in collaboration with Alumni Global. By sharing personal success stories, participating female executives explored how we can build an equitable and inclusive workplace.

Read more

About our programme partner


Alumni Global is an international executive search and advisory consultancy operating across a range of sectors with particular expertise in healthcare, higher education, the third sector and wider public sector. Having collaborated on successful workshops in 2022, including at the 45th World Hospital Congress, Alumni became the sponsor for all activities of the IHF's Women in Leadership Forum in 2023. Together IHF and Alumni Global partner to provide a unique and supportive experience to members, helping improve healthcare outcomes through leadership.


News and insights

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IHF at WHO workshop: Fit-for-purpose hospitals

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IHF at WHO SEARO: 76th regional committee meeting

The 76th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia (SEARO) took place from 30 October to 2 November...

IHF at WHO workshop: Caring for those who care

At the WHO headquarters in Geneva on 20 November, the IHF participated in a workshop with key partners and stakeholders,...

Women in Leadership at Congress: Advancing gender equity in healthcare leadership

We were thrilled to welcome over 60 participants from 24 countries to our session at the 46th World Hospital Congress...


Have more questions?

  • Who can join the Women in Leadership SIG?

    Any executive or leader from an IHF member organization can join the SIG. It is open to female and male representatives committed to improving gender equity in their place of work. 

  • When does the Women in Leadership SIG meet?

    The Women in Leadership SIG has quarterly virtual meetings, each focusing on a different theme. We also have an in-person session at the World Hospital Congress each year. Subscribe to the IHF newsletter to find out about upcoming events.

  • Who should I contact for more information?

    If you would like more information about the Women in Leadership SIG or would like to find out how to join, please contact Ilona at ilona.johnston@ihf-fih.org.