healthIT agency marketer medical marketing healthcare marketing social responsibility metoo gender gender equality

A #MeToo Call-to-Action for Healthcare Marketers

By Heather Kerr

Gillette recently released a short film entitled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” which invited men to be positive role models for boys within the current #MeToo climate.

In taking a proud, open stance against toxic masculinity, Gillette joins an ongoing trend where more companies are using advertising dollars in a socially responsible way.  As healthcare marketers and PR professionals, what can we do to help drive positive, progressive change?

Like many other fields, there is a substantial gender wage gap in the healthcare industry.  Male physicians in the U.S. take home, on average, over $78,000 more dollars per year than their female colleagues.1  And even though females dominate in the occupation of nurse practitioner, comprising over 89% of the workforce, male nurses make an average of $25,000 more per year than their female counterparts. 2

At KNB Communications, we often find ourselves in the position of creating websites, marketing literature, display ads, case studies and other content for healthcare companies.  A critical review of past content has shown that we have often used a portrayal of the medical community that, while accurate, is more reflective than aspirational. In 2019, we have pledged to ensure that women are better represented throughout our content.  This means:

  • Using more visuals that include female doctors and female health executives in our display ads, brochures, website graphics, and other content

  • Making a commitment to locate more female doctors to include in round tables and interviews for our public relations initiatives

  • Including female pronouns throughout content such as case studies and white papers

  • Making best efforts to nominate female doctors and female healthcare leaders for industry awards and recognize publicly them for their contributions and accomplishments

  • Recognizing opportunities to project themes of female empowerment in our healthcare clients’ marketing and PR campaigns

We invite all our fellow healthcare marketers to join us in this stance to support the #MeToo movement of gender equality in this way.  

What are some actions you have taken, or suggestions you have?     

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by Heather Kerr

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