President & Founder
Women in Healthcare & SmithGroup
In 2015, Ashley Schmidt attended an event dedicated to rising health care executives. The room was filled with more than 100 attendees, yet Schmidt found herself sitting next to the only two other women in the room. This is how she knew the health care industry was overdue for change. In 2016, she created Women in Healthcare, a nonprofit, professional development organization for women in healthcare.
In her research, she discovered that, on average, women made up the majority of a hospital’s workforce, but less than half served in leadership. The reasons for this disparity came down to four factors: lack of confidence, lack of mentorship, lack of time and lack of training.
Women in Healthcare has grown to employ 15 team members, supports 150 members, has 12 industry sponsors and has launched a mentorship program.
“I believed I could help these women come together, learn from one another and rise above these hurdles,” Schmidt said. “We believe that part of what has been holding women back from excelling in the health care industry is mentorship, and we make it part of our mission to pair rising stars with leaders.”