Webinar shares experience and advice to help women succeed
Today, there are more women surgeons than ever before. Yet, women still only represent 26% of surgeon faculty and 6% of surgical chairs in the U.S.
Diversity in surgical leadership -- that is truly representative of patients -- is critical to drive innovation, research, and surgical treatment into the future. That’s why the Johnson & Johnson Institute and the Women’s Leadership and Inclusion (WLI) initiative hosted a virtual program that shared the stories and experiences of three women surgeons who are paving the way for others.
The panelists included Daniela Molena, MD, Memorial Sloane Kettering; Cynthia Emory, MD, MBA, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD, UC San Diego Health. You can watch a replay of the program here.
Sharing lessons learned
Women surgeons face unique obstacles. But according to the panelists, they are not insurmountable. The panelists shared the following advice for overcoming the barriers and thriving in a male-dominated field:
- Learn how to say no. It can be as equally rewarding to stop doing things as it can be to get things done. We all have “to do” lists. You should also make a “stop do” list. You don’t have to be on every committee you are asked to join. Be selective.
- You need sponsors and mentors. It’s important to understand the difference between a sponsor and a mentor. Sponsors just don’t give advice, they put themselves on the line for you. They represent you to people and help advance your career. Mentors serve a different role. They can be behind the scenes, helping to guide you by sharing their experience.
- You need to ask for the opportunies. Just working hard and being a good surgeon isn’t enough. It’s also about advocating for yourself, establishing a presence and doing so in all instances from the very beginning.
Other insights from the panelists:
“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nobody ever feels ready. You have to make it known that you want more. – Dr. Emory
“Be strategic. If you want to be a division chief in 5 years, you need to plan for that now.” - Dr. Ramamoorthy.
“Team up with other women. You don’t have to do it alone, look around.” Dr. Molena
This webinar is part of a series of educational programs presented by the Johnson & Johnson Institute and the WLI for women surgeons.
“We are honored to have such an inspirational panel of surgeons lead this program,” said Heather Cannon, Vice President, Global Educational Solutions for DePuy Synthes. “Their insights and vision are an inspiration not only for other surgeons, but for all of us who know that diversity and inclusion is a key driver of innovation in healthcare.”
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