Women make up less than 20 percent of U.S. tech jobs, even though they make up more than half of the U.S. workforce. The stats are even more shocking at the top of the food chain—of the CEOs who lead Fortune 500 companies, only 24 are women.
But times are changing and many leaders, especially in the healthcare IT industry, are making it their mission to improve gender equality, especially at the leadership level.
We chatted with Sue Schade, Principal at Starbridge Advisors and nationally recognized healthcare leader, and Gale Thompson, Advisor at Starbridge Advisors and leadership coach, to learn more about a new service, C-change, and their goals to transform the status of women in the healthcare IT industry through leadership coaching.
Why did you start C-change? What was the motivation?
Sue Schade: I’m passionate about developing the next generation of leaders, in particular helping to develop women leaders in health IT. Throughout my career, I’ve spoken with countless women in the industry and have helped them make decisions related to their career, family, and education. I’ve had a long-standing passion and commitment to help other women advance in their careers and want to take it to the next level. We have several female-focused groups and meetups, like #healthITchicks and the HIMSS Women in Health IT initiative, but there aren’t any programs aimed directly at improving the leadership skills of women in the healthcare IT industry. We want to provide that service in order to develop the next generation of female leaders.
What is the goal of C-change and the leadership coaching programs?
Sue Schade: Our goal is create a world in which female IT professionals hold up half the world in healthcare at all levels. We want to support the development of female leaders at all stages of their career such that they enter, evolve, and attain leadership positions at a rate equal to their male peers and in a way that fully utilizes their strengths.
Gale Thompson: We want women to be seen, supported, and expected as leaders. By drawing on their strengths, values, and personal qualities, women can become effective leaders who utilize emotion and logic to provide valuable change and innovation to their organizations. Our goal is to have women lead the next wave of what good leadership looks like.
Can you tell us about the “Equipping Emerging Leaders for Success” course?
Sue Schade: I will be leading this course and it’s aimed at women early in their health IT career who are looking to develop their leadership skills. I will conduct a 6-month online series of participative group webinars for aspiring women leaders. Each series will be limited to 20 participants and include 6 one-hour monthly sessions, each with a presentation and small group breakouts for discussion on topics ranging from building confidence to negotiating for success.
Can you tell us more about the “Harnessing Your Strengths” course?
Gale Thompson: To be an effective and authentic leader, knowing yourself and owning your strengths is the first step. This course will help participants identify their own unique set of strengths and how they can be harnessed so female leaders are also better equipped to see and develop them in the people they work with on a daily basis. It’s crucial for a leader to align their strengths and to call on the strengths of others in service of their collective goals and to create better outcomes.
This will be an interactive, online small group course with 6 sessions for 1 hour augmented by two 30-minute individual sessions with me. At the end of the course, participants will understand how to use their unique strengths skillfully in order to exhibit the leadership behaviors that will enable them and their teams to be more effective.
Are you offering any other programs in addition to the online courses?
Sue Schade: Yes! In addition to the online courses, C-change will offer a variety of tailored services to leaders and organizations who want to take their leadership, teams, and culture to a different level. Our other services include One-on-One Leadership Coaching and Team Coaching. Some of the training and assessment topics include Dare to Lead™ and The Nervous System and its Impact on Leadership.
How will you measure the success of C-change?
Sue Schade: We know we will make a positive impact on every woman who participates in our program. And we’ll know we made a change when 50% of leadership roles in the healthcare IT industry are occupied by women.
If you’re interested in participating in C-change and one of the courses, visit StarBridge Advisors to learn more. On their website, you can receive all the information you need in order to register for the courses or to book in-person coaching. Registration for the online courses is now open and start in early March. Register and develop your leadership skills with Sue Schade and Gale Thompson here.