At this challenging time in healthcare and academic medicine it is critically important to leverage various paths to leadership and embrace diversity among those who lead.

Women are underrepresented in academic medicine leadership. Women make up half of medical students, yet only 31 percent are full and associate professors. In contrast, 53 percent of men in medicine hold these ranks, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

A lack of female role models and inconsistent mentoring opportunities limit the career trajectory for women.

Cultural change to achieve effective leadership requires institutional commitment through policies and opportunities to advance diversity. CWRU School of Medicine is making that commitment with a development program for women that facilitates paths to leadership.

FLEX: A Professional Development Program for Women Faculty of the School of Medicine uses a variety of techniques and coaching experiences to provide a broad range of skills to women, from assistant professor to full professor, MD or PhD, basic or clinical faculty.