Women have an outsized role caring for the nation's health. They make up the majority of caregivers, paid and unpaid, and they make the lion's share of care decisions for their own families as well.
And women who work in healthcare have long endured setbacks such as a persistent wage gap, a lack of representation in the C-suite and few workplace flexibilities.
As it has with so many fault lines, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many of the underlying issues facing systematically disadvantaged communities. Women typically take up most childcare duties, and those tasks became far more difficult with children home from school and daycares closed.
Meanwhile, nurses who have been on the front lines of the crisis are disproportionately women.
Female caregivers had some respite with the surge in telehealth use, allowing them to seek care from home with a video or phone call. Providers also seized on this opportunity, with women scaling up their telehealth services.
Women who have, despite the challenges, made it to the leadership ranks of their healthcare organizations talked to Healthcare Dive about the obstacles they faced as they climbed the ladder and the advice they give to young women entering the workforce.
"I think women do end up having to compartmentalize their life a lot. I've done so myself," Teladoc CFO Mala Murthy told Healthcare Dive. "And there is a level of stamina and energy and drive needed to be able to juggle all those many, many compartments. And it is a challenge."