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La Salle News

October 7, 2019

The Women’s Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (WNLI), The Nonprofit Center at La Salle, and La Salle University Release Research Report on the Gender Gap in Nonprofit Medical and Educational Boardrooms in Greater Philadelphia

On Thursday, Oct.3, The Women’s Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (WNLI), The Nonprofit Center at La Salle, and La Salle University released the collaborative regional report, “The Gender Gap in Nonprofit Boardrooms: The 2019 Census of Women Board Members of the 50 Largest Medical and Educational Institutions in Greater Philadelphia.”

The analysis is the first in-depth report of gender diversity on the boards of the 50 largest medical and educational nonprofit institutions in the Philadelphia region.

Key findings from the report include:

  • There is a gender gap in the boardrooms of many of the region’s largest and most powerful nonprofit health care and educational institutions (“meds and eds”). On average the 25 “meds” boards fell below the minimum goal of 30 percent; women comprised only 28 percent of those boards, with a low of 14 percent to a high of 62 percent. The “eds” barely exceeded the minimum, recording an average women’s representation of 33 percent, with a low of eight percent to a high of 91 percent.
  • Twelve of each set of boards met or exceeded the desired goal of 30 percent female members. Doylestown Hospital well exceeded parity; as did four education boards— Bryn Mawr College, Immaculata, Cabrini, and Arcadia. In each category, the four institutions with the greatest female representation were started by women or women’s religious orders.
  • A minority of the 50 boards were chaired by women: six (24 percent) of the 25 health care boards and five (20 percent of the 25 higher education boards.
  • The “meds and eds” boards had the same low percentage of people of color: 13 percent. And both were more likely to have men of color (seven percent for “meds” and eight percent for “eds”) on their boards than women of color (six percent and five percent, respectively).
  • Albert Einstein Healthcare Network and Inspira Health Network have the fewest women on their hospital boards of directors, tying for last place.
  • Doylestown Hospital fared the best, with 61 percent female.

Dr. Colleen Hanycz, La Salle University President, discussed the data’s major findings and results at the event on Thursday at the Montgomery McCracken law firm in Center City.

“We see this work as the first step in raising awareness around the current state of women’s engagement in the governance of this region’s top universities, colleges and health care systems, so that meaningful steps can be taken to move toward greater gender representation that will enrich these institutions and their capacity to make the best possible decisions for those whom they serve,” said Dr. Hanycz,

La Salle University, The Nonprofit Center at La Salle, and WNLI plan to conduct follow-up research every three years.

Read the full report La Salle Nonprofit Center ( and the Women’s Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (