21 Tips to Help Advance Female HIM Leadership

Posted on November 8, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I had the opportunity to attend several sessions at the AHIMA conference on leadership. These sessions focused on the role of female leaders in the HIM industry, and, more importantly, the need to bolster this demographic up from its currently low numbers.

In her session, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Are You Up for the Challenge?” Merida Johns, Principal/Owner at The Monarch Center for Women’s Leadership Development, threw out some interesting statistics:

  • 50% of today’s workforce is female
  • 73% of hospital managers are female
  • 18% of hospital CEOs are female
  • 4% of healthcare vendor CEOs are female
  • 25% of senior healthcare IT positions are held by women
  • 79% of female executives think more female executives are needed in the workforce; but only 42% of men feel the same way
  • 92% of AHIMA members are female; yet only 6% hold an executive position

Johns suggested that in order to raise the bar (or break the glass ceiling) to propel more women into HIM leadership positions, we need to:

Develop Career Clarity

  • identify strengths,
  • develop a personal vision,
  • know your purpose and
  • know what you want

Raise Career Ambitions

  • develop big goals,
  • categorize the goals,
  • break the goals into doable chunks,
  • be specific about when you’ll achieve goals, and
  • develop a vision board

Raise Confidence

  • start success and gratitude journals,
  • sideline the inner critic, and
  • be in the right place at the right time

Promote Yourself

  • accept compliments,
  • use social media effectively,
  • display awards,
  • hone your elevator speech and use it, and
  • develop your brand

Amass Social Capital

  • get a mentor and a sponsor;
  • volunteer, connect and promote;
  • use social media; and
  • provide benefits to others

Being that I’m an avid tweeter at events (and a fan of educating and empowering women in healthcare IT), I threw out several snippets of the sessions I was in, which resulted in an interesting dialogue between myself and several other folks:









How have you taken the lead and advanced to the next level? Whether you’re in HIT, HIM or HC, how did you position yourself to reach that next career phase? Please share your experiences and advice in the comments below.