Healthcare is powered by women.
78% of all healthcare workers are female-identifying. 77% of hospital employees are as well.
But even though women outnumber men in the healthcare workforce, they're still held back from attaining positions of power in the medical world. (In fact, at the top 100 U.S. hospitals, women make up only 27% of hospital boards.)
Today is International Women's Day, and this year's message is #ChooseToChallenge. It urges us to take action for equity, call out gender bias, choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements, and think about how each one of us can help create a more gender-equal world.
At ZoomCare, gender equality is something we strive for daily. We believe that diverse perspectives breed innovation, and because of that, female-identifying employees play a vital role within our company.
Currently, over 71% of ZoomCare's workforce is female-identifying, and four out of ten of our senior leaders are women. While we're proud of these numbers, we realize there is room for improvement.
This International Women's Day, we're committing to recruit, nurture, and advance Zoomers of all genders to positions of leadership within our company. What's more, we promise to honor, empower, and amplify the voices of every female-identified person here—not just today, but every day.
To further celebrate the women of Zoom this International Women's Day, we sat down with Dr. Kelli Westcott (an M.D. of Emergency Medicine at ZOOM+Super). Read on to hear her perspective on being a woman in the healthcare industry, what challenges she faces, and how ZoomCare helps her achieve a healthy work/life balance.
It is great fun! I chose to specialize in Emergency Medicine, which is, by far, the best team sport in medicine. I learned early on that I would be called the Registration Lady or the Nurse in the ED—even with an M.D. badge and a stethoscope around my neck. My initial indignation quickly gave way to the realization that I had no time to argue about job assumptions and gender stereotypes. If I have to remind the patient that I am their doctor, and the man in the room is actually their nurse, no problem. When I run a Code, the team knows who the doctor is, and we all work together to ensure the best outcomes. Gender bias is certainly not isolated to female physicians, and I have observed a shift toward more acceptance of female physicians during my years in practice.
My initial challenge as a female physician was deciding how I was going to respond to gender bias when it cropped up. I served in the U.S. Navy as a physician after medical school and was told a number of times that females should not be allowed to be officers in the military or that enlisted personnel should have to take orders from officers. These are not fun experiences, but they certainly taught me resilience. Over time I have crafted responses that I hope are neither tolerant nor angry—usually with some humor. Some examples:
A patient says, "What, YOU are the doctor??" Me: "Yes! Can you believe they let girls into Medical School now?"
I have also done a full history and physical, given orders and placed a central line, and the patient asks, "When will the doctor be coming in?" It is very fun to smile and let them know I have been there all along.
ZoomCare has been a fantastic work experience for me. I love working with all the brilliant millennial minds who make Super run smoothly. Mark Zeitzer and Tony Westover hired me, and I have been treated as a physician and colleague from day one. The example that they and other ZOOM+Care leaders set ensures that Zoom+Care lives gender equality and inclusivity.
Work-life balance is what we choose. When we enjoy what we do, and we love coming to work every day, we take that joy home to our families. ZoomCare definitely is a "joy" job, and my work-life balance is enriched because of it.
ZoomCare Super shifts allow me to treat patients the way I want to be treated—seeing Sarah's quickly, ensuring they get the right care in a short amount of time, getting them the meds they need within minutes, and not hours, of their arrival.
I have also worked in very busy urban Emergency Departments, where ambulance patients wait on gurneys in the hall for hours, all rooms are full, and the waiting room is packed with frustrated and anxious souls. By the time I see many of these patients, they spend the first few minutes of our encounter complaining about their wait time, and I spend a few more minutes apologizing. This never happens at Super. Instead, I get to hear Sarah's surprise that she is roomed quickly and often has an IV in, labs drawn, and meds are given within minutes of arrival. These interactions bring me joy and career satisfaction.