Hospital CEO discusses women in business field
If women do not play golf, they will be the only ones in the office while the men are out on the course, said Amy Mansue, president and CEO of Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick.
Whether or not they like golf, women should play because golfing excursions can double as meetings with coworkers, and they tend to be even longer, affording workers more time to discuss necessary business, she said.
“Learn how to drive the heck out of that ball, and men will invite you back,” she said. “You get an advantage with those red tees, so just go ahead and do it.”
Mansue spoke about female leadership and changes in the health care industry last night at the Douglass Student Center at the 2014 Annual L’Hommedieu Lecture, which brings distinguished individuals to campus each year.
Nidhi Agrawal, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, stumbled upon the event by accident. She viewed it as a chance to learn more about how women can succeed in the health care industry.
“I am debating on majoring in health care or business, so I wanted to learn more,” Agrawal said.
Mansue was named one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” this year for her leadership at the helm of the Children’s Specialized Hospital, which has been around for 123 years.
Jeanne Fox, commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said Mansue is an exceptional human being.
“She really understands and cares about other people,” Fox said.
Mansue discussed the impact of the American obesity epidemic, which she said contributes to 300,000 deaths in the nation each year. Childhood obesity specifically is one of the most critical issues.
If both a child’s parents are obese, the child has an 80 percent chance of being obese as well, Mansue said. Those children are estimated to lose anywhere from five to 20 years of their life.
“We generally accept it and don’t think about it,” she said. “We are not in an Ebola crisis over it.”
Mansue wants to challenge the next generation of women to formulate a solution to this enormous problem.
Mansue said most of the leading causes of death for women can be prevented by doing things that are “totally abnormal to us” — taking care of ourselves through health, exercise and limiting stress.
From the way medical care is delivered to what people expect and how they pay for it, the health care system is changing at a fast and furious pace, Mansue said. Women leaders are set to play a major role in these changes.
People should expect to see changes in institutional consolidation, quality accountability and an increase in health care plan options, she said.
“There are many different ways to be a woman leader,” she said. “As women, there is no straight path.”
While Gloria Steinem had a certain role and was “in-your-face” about that role, Margaret Thatcher did things in a more dignified way, Mansue said. These two women were strong female leaders in very different and equally acceptable ways, she said.
Mansue created a top-10 list for defining oneself as a woman leader. Her No. 1 rule was that it is okay to be a girl.
“It is absolutely okay to wear the high heels and put the dress on,” she said. “Embrace your femininity.”
Mansue loves when she is the sole girl in the room because she can bring a different perspective to the table.
“You are the forefront,” Mansue said. “Women leaders have the collaboration and focus to be those people and make the change. The world is at your disposal.”