Despite increased efforts at global, regional, and country level to promote gender equality, women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions across a range of sectors and geographic regions. In the health sector specifically, women comprise a substantial proportion of the global health workforce. However, women are over-represented in lower-paying, lower-status occupations and their representation declines with respect to higher professional categories including managerial and decision-making positions.
This under-representation of women in leadership and managerial positions has resulted in increased research interest around gender and leadership. Nevertheless, the role of gender in healthcare leadership in low and middle-income (LMIC) settings remains under-researched; with existing research largely focusing on corporate settings or the healthcare industry in high-income contexts. In regard to this, The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme undertook a study to understand and explore career progression and experiences of healthcare leaders at sub-national level in Kenya.