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Inaugural Women in Medicine and Science Day showcases great strides in gender equity efforts

Image: Leaders, faculty and staff from across the enterprise participated in the event that generated meaningful conversations specific to gender equity, inclusion and career success.
Leaders, faculty and staff from across the enterprise participated in the event that generated meaningful conversations specific to gender equity, inclusion and career success.
Image: The group also participated in group sessions focused on a variety of topics from work-life integration to managing crucial conversations via speed mentoring sessions.
The group also participated in group sessions focused on a variety of topics from work-life integration to managing crucial conversations via speed mentoring sessions.
Image: Madeline Joseph, MD, the associate dean for equity and inclusion and a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, spearheaded the event along with the Women in Medicine and Science Day Executive Committee co-chairs and Planning Committee.
Madeline Joseph, MD, the associate dean for equity and inclusion and a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, spearheaded the event along with the Women in Medicine and Science Day Executive Committee co-chairs and Planning Committee.

Empowerment was the pillar of the University of Florida Health Science Center Jacksonville’s inaugural Women in Medicine and Science Day. Leaders, faculty and staff from across the enterprise participated in the event on April 29 that generated meaningful conversations specific to gender equity, inclusion and career success.

Madeline Joseph, MD, the associate dean for equity and inclusion and a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, spearheaded the event along with the Women in Medicine and Science Day Executive Committee co-chairs Melissa Parsons, MD, and Mariam Louis, MD, and the Planning Committee. Joseph stressed the growing need for a supportive community that inspires career growth and development, which is why the theme for this year, “Empowering Change: Navigating the Path to Success,” was especially timely.

“There are many challenges facing women in medicine that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Joseph said. “While gender equity has been a growing topic over the last few years, we are making great strides on our campus to help bridge the gap. This event was established to meet the need for a positive environment that allowed women to collaborate, learn, engage and be empowered to succeed.”

Attendees heard from national speakers and experts on issues women in health care face every day. Sharonne Hayes, MD, FACC, FAHA, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, served as the keynote speaker. Hayes discussed ways to further advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and eliminate gender inequity within health care systems.

Jennifer Webb, an internationally-recognized motivational speaker, presented on effective ways to communicate by commanding a room and improving self-confidence. The group also participated in group sessions focused on a variety of topics from work-life integration to managing crucial conversations via speed mentoring sessions.  

Suparna R. Krishnaiengar, MD, an assistant professor in the department of neurology, who was in attendance noted that the first-of-its kind event gave everyone a unique platform to foster new relationships within UF Health.

“The event showcased a culture of inclusion and empowerment of women at UF Health and it is great to see efforts increase at other health systems across the nation as well,” Krishnaiengar said. “We hope events like this will take place regularly and we will continue to see positive progress in gender equity.”

There was also a special awards ceremony at the event where five female faculty members were recognized for their career and service achievements. 

The post-event feedback by attendees showed the positive impact and success of the inaugural event. In response to the survey, one faculty member wrote, “Seeing all the female leaders, scientists and physicians in one place, it was noticeable that leadership supports women in medicine.” The group hopes to host this event every year and will continue offering educational sessions and activities.

The mission of Women in Medicine and Science is to promote and invest in advancement, leadership and success for women in medicine and science by facilitating career opportunities through engagement, collaboration, networking, education and mentorship. Visit idea.med.jax.ufl.edu/women-in-medicine-and-science/ for more information.

Featured Faculty

Madeline M. Joseph, MD

Madeline M. Joseph, MD

Professor
Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion; Chief, Division of Pediatric Bariatrics

Suparna R. Krishnaiengar, MBBS (MD)

Suparna R. Krishnaiengar, MBBS (MD)

Assistant Professor