SolutionHealth is proud to be led by the CEO, COO, and Board chair who are all women.

As more highly educated women enter the New Hampshire workforce, a disparity still exists between the number of men and women running the state’s largest companies.

Just over a year ago, the Elliot and Southern New Hampshire health systems combined to create Solution Health, a company with more than 6,000 employees and 700 providers.
“We’re really focused on creating a regional health system that can create solutions to help patients and bring high quality, better health care locally,” said Chief Operating Officer Kelly Corbi.
The company’s CEO, COO and board chair are all women — an anomaly, according to the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation “Status of Women” report. The report shows that 17 percent of New Hampshire-based companies with more than 1,000 employees have women at the helm. For companies with more than 250 workers, 26 percent are led by women.

Corbi said she hasn’t experienced gender issues in work interactions, but she said there is sometimes resistance to having women in leadership positions.

“When I started interviewing for executive roles, I would notice that recruiters would say to me, ‘Well, now we’ll have to see if they have an appetite for a female in that role,'” she said.

“The fundamental stereotype of male as breadwinner and woman as caretaker is really what we’re still bumping up against in today’s culture,” said Mary Jo Brown, owner and founder of Brown & Co.
Brown founded her strategic design firm in 1992 and is also the founding chair emeritus of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.

“The more diverse opinions, the better,” she said. “They lead to better conclusions, more successes. There’s all kinds of data about that, so if we’re not at 50 percent of women in business, we’re not getting the best out of our business.”

According to Brown, statistics show that more women are getting more educated, and there are more in the workforce overall. She said the key is also championing men in less stereotypical roles.
“Embracing a new framework around manhood which says, ‘I can be the caretaker. I can be the stay-at-home dad,’ is equally important to women taking a seat in the boardroom,” she said.

-Jennifer Crompton, WMUR