Across the globe, women stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers, and leaders in combating the pandemic. They were at the helm of institutions carrying out effective and inclusive COVID-19 responses, from the highest levels of decision-making to frontline service delivery.
Women in leadership and other positions across health supply chains have demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and networks to effectively lead pandemic preparedness and crisis response planning. Nevertheless, women are frequently under-represented at the highest decision-making levels in sectors directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis response planning in general.
According to statistics from a UN Women report (UN Women, 2020), women make up only a quarter of members of national parliaments worldwide. Globally, as of 1 January 2020, only 21.3 percent of ministers are women. Women’s under-representation as health ministers is especially concerning: while women make up 70 percent of health sector workers, only 24.7 percent of the world’s health ministers are women, and they hold just 25 percent of senior roles in health institutions. Meanwhile, 72 percent of executives of global health organizations are men.
HELP logistics is launching a collaborative project with Woman Emerging from Isolation to seek strategic foresight from women leaders in health supply chains. By highlighting women’s insights and perspectives on planning and preparedness, we aim to demonstrate the opportunity to build more resilient health supply chains in the post-pandemic future.