Fostering diversity in health leadership is imperative as that not only enhances the quality of health care itself, but improves an organization's effectiveness and responsiveness to address the needs of a diverse population. Inequitable structures entrenched in health care such as sexism, racism and settler colonialism undermine efforts made by women from diverse backgrounds to obtain leadership roles. This paper identifies leading practices which support diverse health leadership.
A multi-methodological approach involving a targeted published and gray literature search undertaken through both traditional means and a systematic social media search, focused particularly on Twitter. A literature and social media extraction tool was developed to review and curate more than 800 resources. Items chosen included those which best highlighted the barriers faced by diverse women and those sharing tools of how allies can best support the diverse women.
Four core promising practices that help to disrupt the status-quo of health leadership include (1) active listening to hear and amplify voices that have been marginalized, (2) active learning to respond to translation exhaustion, (3) active observing and noticing microaggressions and their consequences and (4) active bystanding and intervention.
When implemented, these practices can help to dismantle racism, sexism, ableism and otherwise challenge the status-quo in health leadership.
This paper provides an original and value-added review of the published literature and social media analysis of heretofore disparate practices of allyship, all while amplifying the voices of health leaders from marginalized communities.