Lack of Gender Disparity among Administrative Leaders of Canadian Health Authorities

Waleed Abdellatif, Jeffrey Ding, Sabeena Jalal, Tribesty Nguyen, Dina Khorshed, Frank J. Rybicki, Ismail Tawakol Ali, Matthew D.F. McInnes, Nadia A. Khan, Samad Shah, Faisal Khosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Gender distribution within the managing bodies of the Canadian health authorities has not been studied despite their integral role in the health care system. The purpose of this study is to quantify gender differences and to craft a geographic gender analysis of such distribution. Methods: Retrospective data collection of all Canadian health authorities at the provincial, territorial, regional, and first nations levels was conducted. The dependent variable was gender, and other covariates, where applicable, included province/territory, region, leadership position, education (PhD or Master's), honorary degree, and primary occupation. Any member within the executive managing body or board of directors of a Canadian health authority was included, unless their gender could not be determined, in which case they were excluded. Results: Quantitative analysis of the 67 health authorities revealed 1346 individuals with identifiable gender (710 women; 636 men). Thematic distribution showed no significant difference in the gender distribution by provinces/territories (chi square = 14.248; p = 0.28), by leadership position (chi square = 1.88; p = 0.75), by education (chi square = 1.85; p = 0.17), or by primary occupation (chi square = 1.53; p = 0.46). Conclusion: The overall number of females exceeded that of males and there were no gender disparities. Critical analysis of probable causes was discussed. Further studies should be conducted to examine the policies and programs within the Canadian health authorities that successfully tackle the retention, recruitment, and promotion of females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1474
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • gender disparity
  • gender equality
  • gender map
  • health authority
  • institutional policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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