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A win-win for health care: promoting co-leadership and increasing women’s representation at the top

Alan T. Belasen (MBA in Healthcare Leadership, SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA)
Anat M. Belasen (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Abigail R. Belasen (Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA)
Ariel R. Belasen (Department of Economics and Finance, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 21 June 2021

Issue publication date: 12 July 2021




This paper aims to contribute to the growing body of research on health-care leadership by demonstrating the value of dyads and triads in strengthening capabilities of health-care settings and providing action pathways to accelerate gender parity in senior health-care positions.


The paper reviews the evidence that when single-leadership models are used and women are under-represented in leadership, the health-care industry may miss out on opportunities to increase efficiency and quality of care. Next, the paper describes a co-leadership model with distinct and overlapping roles, which promotes women’s participation and inspires administrative and clinical leaders to collaborate and achieve optimal performance.


The dyad as the enabling track for women in health-care leadership creates opportunities for health-care systems to bridge the gender gap in senior positions as well as improve the delivery of cost-effective quality care.

Practical implications

The inclusive co-leadership model with distinct and overlapping roles is a promising pathway for increasing health-care system efficiency and for promoting women to senior roles by tapping into the leadership skills and expertise that women bring to these roles.


The current paper demonstrates the dual effects of using co-leadership in senior health-care positions and fixing the gender imbalance. It has significant implications for advancing similar pathways in other industries as a means for accelerating gender parity in senior management.



Belasen, A.T., Belasen, A.M., Belasen, A.R. and Belasen, A.R. (2021), "A win-win for health care: promoting co-leadership and increasing women’s representation at the top", Gender in Management, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 762-781.



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