The average size of healthcare organization boards has been 16 to 17 members for the last three years, but more women are serving on them, a new study shows.
Witt/Kieffer, Ford, Hadelman & Lloyd, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based executive search firm, conducted the study of 300 chief executive officers or presidents of hospitals, systems and integrated delivery systems.
The number of women serving on boards increased to 3.62 in 1993 from 3.00 in 1986, the survey said.
The average board has 16.7 members, according to the study. It includes 3.82 corporate members, 2.81 physicians, 1.81 clergy and nuns, 1.79 retirees, 1.24 lawyers, 0.89 bankers, 0.86 healthcare executives, 0.50 accountants and 0.44 unemployed.
"Previously, many healthcare board seats were filled by people who had free time, but not the business savvy or experience that are needed today," said Michael Kieffer, chairman of Witt/Kieffer. "Today there is a mix of skills and backgrounds that can be effective in leading the organization."
Board membership of under-represented minorities "is still in the early part of the curve," Mr. Kieffer said. More than half the boards reported no minority representation.