We are living in inspirational times. #MeToo. #TimesUp. #BalanceforBetter. For the first time in my professional life, we are having open conversations about gender parity, sexual harassment in the workplace, combating gender stereotypes, imposter syndrome and a host of other issues that colour women’s work experiences.
This past year, I have had the unparalleled opportunity to engage numerous women physicians on the gender disparity they experience in the workplace. Their experiences are similar to mine, of those of my daughter, and likely those of many of my female staff. And it’s a shame. Women in every workplace have so much to offer—indeed they do—often at the expense of their own wellness. Let me assure you, the brave women physicians that shared their stories with me and my colleagues this past year—you want them caring for you and your loved ones. They are amazing.
Today, on International Women’s Day, I implore all my peers, men and women, to consider that gender balance is a human rights issue. It aligns to values like fairness, equality, respect and liberty. All of us, regardless of race, religion, and gender have certain inalienable rights that are protected across this land—in homes, our educational institutions and our businesses. And, gender balance is one of the best ways for us to protect those rights.
It is with gratitude that I think about all those mentors who championed me through the years, allowing me to reach my goals and aspirations. I am truly fortunate to be surrounded by numerous strong women leaders—physicians, board members, employees. I extend my sincere thanks to all of them for their contributions in helping shape a better health system for all Canadians.
I have seen a lot of progress in my professional lifetime. I’d like to see more. It’s time to pay it forward—for all the women we know—let’s strike gender balance so we can build a better world for today and for tomorrow.
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