Effects of Participation in the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program on Women Faculty's Perceived Leadership Capabilities

While the proportion of women both attending and teaching at medical schools has increased substantially, there is still a gender gap in medical academia between women and men in leadership positions. The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) is a program that addresses this issue by providing female faculty members in medical and dental schools with leadership skills development, mentoring and networking. This article presents findings of a study to measure the impact of participation in ELAM as part of the program's evaluation agenda. The study follows a standard self-report design with pre- and post-participation sections. Data for the study sample was collected from 79 participants in three ELAM classes from the late 1990s and early 2000s. For almost all the variables included on the questionnaires (60 out of 65), across all 10 leadership constructs, the results demonstrate that participants in ELAM perceived significantly increased leadership capabilities. The greatest increases were in the categories of knowledge of leadership and organizational theory, environmental scanning, financial management and general leadership. Future research will investigate whether the perceived increases in leadership capabilities are due to ELAM or other factors (such as natural maturation), and assess whether ELAM participants show more rapid advancement into leadership than women not enrolled in the program.