Only 15% of healthcare organization CEOs are women, and women hold just 30% of senior leadership positions in healthcare. You don’t need us to tell you that’s not enough. Fortunately, we were able to sit down with two of those leaders on Medxcel’s Outside the Patient’s Door podcast. CEO of Clinch Memorial Hospital, Angela Ammons, and Medxcel’s VP of Client Services, Maureen Larkins, share how they rose through the ranks, the wisdom they gained along the way, and their advice for women engaging in a similar career path – in any industry.

OPD_Title_Square_Angela-Ammons-Maureen-Larkins.pngThe below insights are just a sampling of the inspiring conversation with Angela and Maureen, and we encourage you to listen to the full episode here.

Q: What are some challenges you faced along the way in your career?

Maureen: There are many widespread challenges that I assume most women have experienced, and I know they have in my conversations with them, especially around pay, gender stereotypes, and exclusion. These were challenges for me coming into my career, and unfortunately, they still exist in so many different places in our work environments today.

Angela: I agree with what Maureen said. Major challenges that I've had to overcome are my own self-doubt and the feeling of having to prove myself. In almost every position I’ve held in nursing and healthcare, I have felt like I had to prove myself or people needed me to prove myself. Other challenges I've had to face are that not everyone is your friend, and not everyone wants to see you succeed.

Q: Have you been given advice that you found particularly valuable that you've carried with you along the way?

Maureen: Yes, pace yourself. Don't be in such a hurry to get to somewhere where you really don't know where you're going. And if you're asked to do something, say yes, even if it’s volunteering your talents, your skills and your perspectives on things. Those are some times that I would say I found particularly valuable on a more technical view of my career.

Angela: You can never communicate too much. I think there have been so many misunderstandings, hurt feelings, failed projects and bad negotiations because someone didn’t make sure to communicate clearly, beginning to end, about every single process. Assumption gets us in trouble.

Question: There's a perception that once you've reached a certain level, male and female dynamics don't exist anymore. What can you tell us about your experiences with being the female at that level?

Maureen: That it's truly a perception and it's not reality. I think there is always the physical presence of men and women in any environment when we're both there together. People often forget that the higher up you go, the lonelier it gets, and to be able to engage and recognize what the dynamics are between men and women is an advantage for women leaders. Once you acknowledge that it exists and you know how to manage it and stay safe within your physical being, safe within your words, maintain that respect that you give and you receive, you do just fine. But you don't get to a certain level where it stops happening.

Angela: I can't agree more. I think the higher you get, people are more acutely aware of the physical differences between men and women. I look forward to the day that a woman can be voted into office, that they can be promoted to CEO or president or even manager, without someone saying, “I wonder how she got that?”

Listen to Angela Ammons’ and Maureen Larkins’ full conversation at OutsideThePatientsDoor.com or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts. Questions or comments on this conversation? Contact us at info@medxcel.com or 855-633-9235.