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Unlocking Leadership in Healthcare and Healing the World

With less than eight years left to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #3 and #5, the Unlocking Eve panel will bring together leaders in politics and industry to explore why some countries have been able to achieve more representative systems, why others still lag behind, and what this means for the way healthcare systems are designed and healthcare solutions are delivered. Countries with more representative political systems as well as women in key leadership positions succeeded in saving more lives during the pandemic.

As we move into an era of multiplying existential threats, we have an opportunity to embrace a shift towards new values, behaviours, and leadership. Embracing this shift that could help us to draw up a roadmap that will lead to the creation of a new system that supports plurality of perspective, drives new discussions, includes new decision- makers at the table, and delivers better health outcomes for all.

  • How do we capitalize on the leadership lessons during the pandemic, in order to transform healthcare?
  • What are the barriers we still need to overcome to ensure those who are the beneficiaries are also the architects of our healthcare systems?
  • What are the accelerators we need to focus on for advancement of SDGs?
  • What are the new models of leadership we need to embrace and further support?

Welcoming words by:
André Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman, Roche, Switzerland


  • Stéphane Bancel, Founding CEO, Moderna, USA
  • Seth F. Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Switzerland
  • Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School, UK
  • Jayasree K. Iyer, CEO, Access to Medicine Foundation, Netherlands
  • Eva Mc Lellan, Co-Founder, Unlocking Eve, Belgium
  • Kaye Vitug, Co-founder, Unlocking Eve, USA


  • Joanne Steiner, Founding Partner, Apriori Consulting, Switzerland

Hanging in the Balance

Why Now is the Time to Hit Reset on Healthcare Leadership Equality

The pandemic has demonstrated on a global scale just how effective female leaders are. As we race to meet the UN’s sustainability and development goals on gender equality and health and well-being for all, we need to build on learnings from the pandemic to create more balanced leadership models and representative systems. This is the key to transforming healthcare delivery and outcomes across the globe. This is the key to healing the world.

Gender imbalance means women remain an underutilized asset and it will stay this way until more women are in decision-making and leadership positions. Despite accounting for 70 percent of the frontline healthcare workforce, only 15 percent of decision makers in healthcare are women.

The business case for more women in leadership has been well made in recent years. Data from the global consultancy McKinsey shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to achieve above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.[1] Meanwhile, the World Bank has calculated that gender inequality is costing $160 trillion in human capital loss – that’s twice global GDP.[2]

But it was the pandemic that really highlighted just how much we all stand to gain by embracing female leadership in healthcare as well as greater equality in the broader system. Countries with more representative political systems and those that had women in key leadership positions saved more lives, especially in the early stages of the pandemic.[3] Female leaders were less likely to underestimate the risks, were more likely to focus on preventative measures, and they prioritised the preservation of health and wellbeing over the economy, according to Loronzo Fioramonti, Luca Coscieme and Katherine Trebeck, who analysed countries’ performances. [4]

Plurality of Perspective

Mounting evidence shows that correcting the current gender imbalance will enable organisations to improve their performance and their results. By increasing the number of women in leadership roles and embracing the leadership styles more often associated with women, we will create more balanced and representative systems – systems that are ready and able to rapidly respond to the healthcare needs of the people they are serving. This includes women.

Women make up 50 percent of the world’s population. They account for 60 percent of graduates, globally, and they represent the majority of medical school students. More than 50 percent of US managers and professionals are female.[5]

But women’s specific health needs are still often overlooked. Women are, on average, diagnosed with heart disease between seven and ten years later than men. By the time they are diagnosed, they are also having to deal with other chronic diseases.[6] When it came to COVID, only about 40 percent of national-level policy measures were designed to respond to gender-specific risks and challenges.[7] It’s worth noting that women represented a mere 24 percent of COVID-19 task force members worldwide.[8]

We can change this by shifting to more inclusive systems in which leaders engage in different conversations and recognise a more diverse set of priorities. Bringing diverging perspectives to the healthcare conversations and decisions will give us the chance to engage in different discussions that will make it more likely that decisions will lead to more equitable and accessible healthcare.

Women leaders have shown us what can be achieved when they are empowered and in decision making roles. Now is the time to give the healthcare sector the balance it needs. Get this right and people will become healthier, societies will become healthier, the world will become healthier, and we will all reap

We are inspired and encouraged by words from Antonio Machado, “we make the path by walking it”, this is our invitation to be in action, to reinvent, particularly our own leadership and create space for others to do the same.

Help Women Everywhere Be the Change We All Want – Join the Conversation

Eva McLellan and Kaye Vitug are two senior healthcare executives seeking to reframe the conversation at this year’s World Economic Forum Sustainability and Development Goal Tent in Davos. Eva and Kaye, who have held multiple leadership roles in multiple countries, have teamed up to create Unlocking Eve, a solution-seeking platform and organization aimed at collaborating with key stakeholders to create the frameworks and structures required for more representative systems and better health outcomes.

This year, Eva and Kaye will kick start a newly focused discussion as they partner with Swiss-based social organisation InTent to bring together leaders from politics, industry and civil society in order to explore what we need to do so that we create healthcare systems that reflect the whole population’s needs.

Join them and their sponsor Andre Hoffmann, Co-founder and Board member of InTent as well as Vice-Chairman of Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche as they engage with a panel of experts, including Seth F. Berkley CEO of Gavi, Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School, Jayasree K. Iyer, CEO of the Access to Medicine Foundation and Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, at the Panel Discussion on May 23 by registering here.









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 23 May 2022, Monday  15:00-17:00

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