Women Doing Vital Work, Meeting Vital Needs

Once upon a time, opportunities for women in your physician’s office were limited to the receptionist desk or a nursing position – and things didn’t change much in healthcare in the early decades when the United Nations began marking International Women’s Day (#IWD2016) annually on March 8.

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, the world of medicine is evolving, and women are playing significant roles in the health and wellness professions, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Did you know that in the U.S., women currently represent…

  • More than 60% of pediatricians
  • Half (51%) of Ob/Gyns
  • 46% of all physicians in training and almost half of all medical students


Women are making strides with their contributions to treatment, research and digital innovation in healthcare, by bringing women’s health issues to light – and they are also at the vanguard of an important consumer movement in healthcare, for themselves and as caregivers for their families.

Healthcare consumers globally are overwhelmingly female and have varying unmet needs, according to a 2015 report, The Power of the Purse: Engaging Women Decision Makers for Healthy Outcomes. The Center for Talent Innovation conducted a multi-market survey of 9,218 female health consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Brazil and found that to engage female consumers, healthcare companies must first understand their unique definition of health and the behaviors that drive trust and satisfaction among female patients and consumers.

What began as a series of small grassroots efforts, like Judy Norsigian and Miriam Hawley’s non-profit Boston Women’s Health Book Collective that was responsible for the revolutionary bestseller Our Bodies, Ourselves, is now a global movement. Fostered by a network of female professionals and millions of mothers, sisters and daughters around the world, women are demanding better care for themselves and their families.

“One of the most important changes facing the healthcare system is the rise of the consumer,” says Alexandra von Plato, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group’s President of North America, in a recent interview with CMO.com. “Traditionally, healthcare has been a very paternalistic, non-transparent system that bred complexity and mystery. The consumer movement is coming to healthcare; it’s coming fast, and it’s going to change everything.”

Let your voice be heard by joining the conversation on our Facebook page and tweet with the hashtag #IWD2016 about the achievements of women who are doing vital work and meeting vital needs in healthcare today.