Today, 8 March is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity and raises awareness of the importance of gender equality.
To mark the day, our article looks at the prominence of incredible women in the healthcare communications industry and discusses the many benefits of gender diversity in the workplace.
Gender diversity in healthcare communications
At Porterhouse, we are proud that 65% of our employees are female and that women represent 50% of the senior management team.
As a global agency group delivering insight-driven healthcare communication services to the pharmaceutical industry, we understand the value of diversity, equity and inclusion, not only in our workplace but in the work that we do. Our company (and the wider healthcare communications industry) relies on a diverse workforce to provide a first-class service to our clients and realises the benefits of gender diversity in our agency every day.
As a STEM-related field, the healthcare communications industry is rather unique in the fact that the majority of our workforce – an impressive 74% – is female . Data from a 2021 Healthcare Communications Survey revealed that females outnumber males at every level of seniority in our industry: the proportion of females at manager, team leader, head of department and director level are 77%, 75%, 72% and 55%, respectively .
These figures appear all the more impressive when we consider that, overall, women made up just 24% of the STEM workforce in the UK in 2019 . At Porterhouse, we believe that the high proportion of females at all levels of seniority in healthcare communications companies like ours should be celebrated – and that our industry should act as a benchmark for other STEM-related industries to follow suit, as more needs to be done to increase diversity. We also recognise that forging gender equity is everyone’s responsibility – not a fight for women alone – and should be a collective effort. 
The benefits of gender diversity in the workplace
A key benefit of increased gender diversity – and other forms of diversity – in the workplace is the enhanced creativity and collaboration it brings . A working environment that brings together multiple perspectives is known to lead to more effective and innovative business strategies . This is because each individual has a different set of experiences that affects their view of the world and, as a consequence, their approach to problem-solving. Within our own global healthcare communications agency, the majority of our work is not produced by just one individual but by a whole team of people who each contribute their own ideas and expertise. This sharing of ideas, perspectives and approaches along the way means that the solution is often more innovative (and more refined) than any of us could have imagined.
Additionally, diverse teams allow for more client-focused results . In the healthcare communications industry, the patients and healthcare professionals we tailor our work towards are themselves diverse. Gender is also important to consider, as women make up half of the general population. Having a workforce that is representative of the population it serves is paramount in providing a better understanding of the issues affecting specific groups and ultimately results in more effective communication strategies .
The benefits of gender diversity are also seen in internal company performance and culture. Companies that actively encourage gender diversity reap the benefits of a wider talent pool, which can have a huge impact on productivity, performance and morale .
As a global agency group delivering insight-driven healthcare communication services to the pharmaceutical industry, our driving force is to have a positive impact on the lives of patients and healthcare professionals. Our company (and the wider healthcare communications industry) relies on a diverse workforce to provide a first-class service to our clients. We see the benefits of gender diversity in our agency every day.
- Paramount Recruitment. 2021 Healthcare Communications Salary Survey. Available at: https://pararecruit.com/storage/app/media/salary_surveys/Healthcare%20Comms%20Salary%20Survey%20-%20Key%20Findings%20Webinar%202021%20-%20Paramount%20Recruitment.pdf. Accessed March 2023.
- STEM Women. Women in STEM statistics. Available at: https://www.stemwomen.com/women-in-stem-percentages-of-women-in-stem-statistics. Accessed March 2023.
- International Women’s Day. Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/18738/Collectively-we-can-all-fight-the-good-fight.
- Workplace. 7 benefits of gender diversity in the workplace. Available at: https://en-gb.workplace.com/blog/diversity-in-the-workplace. Accessed March 2023.