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penn-board-of-trustees
Penn's Board of Trustees in November 2018 Credit: Cindy Chen

The percentage of women board members at Penn and several affiliated hospitals falls below average of the top largest healthcare and higher educational institutions in Philadelphia, a recent study reported. 

The report titled "The Gender Gap in Nonprofit Boardrooms" was released on Oct. 4 by the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University's School of Business and the Women's Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, which is a of group of Philadelphia area women leaders focusing on increasing diversity in the nonprofit sector, according to the group's website

The study surveyed the percentage of women on non-profit boards for the 50 largest hospitals and universities in the greater Philadelphia region. 

The study reported the University's board is 28.6% female which is 4% below the average and places Penn 14th out of the 25 surveyed higher educational institutions. This percentage falls behind neighboring universities such as Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Delaware. 

Both Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Health system, had statistics below the average of 28% women on health care institution boards, with 23.5% and 27.3%, respectively. These percentages placed Pennsylvania Hospital at 14th and CHOP at 17th out of the 25 health care institutions surveyed. However, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, which is also under Penn's health system, came in above average at 30%. 

Twenty-seven out of the 50 failed to meet the 30% gender inclusivity minimum called for by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, according to the study.

Four of the 25 higher educational institutions and one of the 25 health care institutions surveyed met or exceeded 50% women on board, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. These institutions were founded for women, such as Bryn Mawr College and Arcadia University. 

Women comprise 56% of the total student population of greater Philadelphia and 65% of the workforce in the city's healthcare institutions, Generocity reported. However, women are consistently confined to the minority in the non-profit boards that govern these fields, the research study concluded. 

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