Promoting Women’s Employment Opportunities in China’s Healthcare Sector

SBA project


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The Opportunity


As a leading private healthcare network in China, Chindex serves as a model for the provision of quality health services and has played an instrumental role in setting standards for the local healthcare sector. For instance, United Family Healthcare, Chindex’s hospital network, has created a model for women’s health services, driving change in the public sector and the wider medical community in China.


In addition, Chindex is a pioneer in promoting women in its workforce. Women constitute 75 percent of the company’s 1, 700 employees. In the company’s Beijing operations, women represent 58 percent of doctors and 79 percent of senior clinical / management staff - a much higher rate compared to public hospitals in China.


Given Chindex’s prominent influence within China’s healthcare sector, the success of the company’s female-led model can have an important demonstration effect. In particular, Chindex demonstrates to other companies that investing in women employees can improve recruitment, staff retention, and productivity.



Our Approach


IFC has provided support and funding to enable Chindex’s growth in China. The partnership began in 2005, when IFC provided the company with a $10 million loan.


IFC soon recognized Chindex’s potential to improve the quality of healthcare as well as opportunities for women’s employment in China. In 2007, IFC provided Chindex with a second investment package – consisting of $10 million in equity and a $25 million loan – and advised the company on developing a nurse training program.


IFC’s support has enabled Chindex to expand its operations and scale up its investment in female staff through a number of initiatives, including:


  • Launching a Women’s Leadership Program. The initiative is tailored for female staff to prepare them for management roles and build leadership capacity from within the company.
  • Supporting professional development. Chindex sponsors staff to pursue advanced education in hospital-related fields. Over 70 percent of participants are women.
  • Promoting a healthy work environment. Chindex offers counseling services and wellness programs for staff.
  • Creating opportunities for career advancement. Chindex's organization structure facilitates career promotion among women employees.



Results & Impact *


  • Chindex operates a network of 13 hospitals and clinics in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
  • Women constitute 75 percent of Chindex's 1,700 person workforce.
  • Women represent 58 percent of doctors and 79 percent of senior management staff in Chindex's Beijing operations.


 *As of December 2012


Related Links and Resources


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Carmen Niethammer | + 1 (202) 458-1582 | Washington, DC |