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Time's Up Healthcare seeks to drive cultural change, break down culture of inequality, harassment

Organization says healthcare professionals represent the second largest group to have contacted their legal defense fund for help.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

The advocacy movement and organization Time's Up has come to healthcare with the launch of Time's Up Healthcare, a new affiliate looking to address workplace discrimination and harassment to "create equitable and safe work cultures within all facets of the healthcare industry."

Persistent data on gender inequities in healthcare careers and "an entrenched culture of harassment" fueled the creation of the newest arm of the now global movement whose founding principles reflect that data: 1) sexual harassment and gender inequity have no place in the healthcare workplace; 2) every employee should have equitable opportunity, support, and compensation; and 3) we cannot address a problem without understanding its scope and impact.

Time's Up Healthcare includes 50 founding members and 13 senior advisors and is linked to a network of leading institutions in healthcare. It is also supported by numerous groups including the American Medical Women's Association, American College of Physicians, the National Medical Association, Service Employees International Union, American Nurses Association and Council of Medical Subspecialties. Its signatories include Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Drexel University College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, UW Health and Yale Medical School who ratified the founding principles.

THE IMPACT

Time's Up Healthcare includes women from all backgrounds and specialties from emergency medicine to psychiatry who are doctors, nurses, physician assistants, clinical pharmacists and more seeking to unify professionals across all healthcare fields and at every level of healthcare delivery.

Shining the spotlight on the pervasive damage of sexual harassment, misconduct and gender inequalities in healthcare can drive safer workplaces for healthcare workers at all levels, starting with medical school and residency all the way through the ranks of administration.

THE TREND

The Time's Up Foundation and movement were catapulted to global notoriety following the breaking of the Harvey Weinstein scandal last year and has grown exponentially since then. Meanwhile, numerous studies have illustrated trends in wage inequality related to gender and race. An article in the Harvard Business Review cites the rampant nature of such harmful behaviors, stating that academic medicine has the highest incident rate of gender and sexual harassment compared to other scientific fields. The article offered statistical support, using data that said 30 to 70 percent of female physicians and as many as half of female medical students reported being sexually harassed.

Also, the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund offers legal and public relations help to those who experience sexual misconduct and related retaliation in the workplace and to date, healthcare professionals represent the second largest group of people who have contacted the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund for assistance after workers from the arts and entertainment field, the group said.

ON THE RECORD

"The outpouring of support we have received is indicative of the real thirst for change in our industry. Women make up 80 percent of healthcare workers, but only 11 percent of healthcare CEOs. We are well represented in this workforce, but not in positions of power," said Dr. Esther Choo, a founding member of Time's Up Healthcare. "Time's Up's mission resonates deeply with our industry and we are honored to join the expansive and diverse Time's Up network to collectively transform outdated systems of power in our workforces."

"As an emergency room physician, I am trained to advocate for my patients and ensure that they are getting the best treatment and care possible. With the launch of Time's Up Healthcare, I'm committing to using these same skills to fight for my colleagues and peers, because just like our patients, every healthcare employee deserves a workplace where they can thrive -- free of harassment and abuse with equal opportunity to grow and prosper," said Dr. Dara Kass, founding member of Time's Up Healthcare.

"We are so inspired by this group of women across the healthcare industry who have mobilized and organized this initiative while saving lives in their day jobs. These women have the expertise, experience and power to create change and we are proud to have them officially join our expanding Time's Up network," said Rebecca Goldman, interim CEO of Time's Up. "As working women, we are all linked by our shared experiences, and across industries we are coming together to create a powerful coalition that refuses to play by the old rules. We are growing and we are here to stay."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
Email the writer: beth.sanborn@himssmedia.com
 

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