The Origin Story of RheumNow’s Campaign: Women in Rheumatology--The XX Factor Save
Origin stories have captivated me ever since my childhood spent reading Greek Mythology and Marvel comic books. Superheroes have different powers and personalities. Some could fly, others were strong and seemed invincible, most were intelligent, but all fought for the good of humanity.
Hence, when Dr. Jack Cush asked if I would run an April campaign to highlight the achievements, struggles, and challenges of women in rheumatology, I was ecstatic because rheumatology has so many heroines who have contributed to our field.
These women are my role models, colleagues, and friends. They have served on committees, developed guidelines, and cared for patients with dedication and self-sacrifice. To ensure the campaign’s success, I asked Dr. Rachel Tate to be my co-editor and Dr. Gwenesta Melton, Vice President of the Association of Women in Rheumatology (AWIR), to be our advisor. After several meetings to develop the content of this month, we invited women leaders to share their origin stories and their experiences to inspire others with confidence and courage to fight similar battles.
Topics addressed during the month will include self-advocacy, negotiating for change, achieving work-life balance, employment contracts, fighting injustice, career development, promoting diversity, leadership challenges, workforce shortages, and mentoring others. We will feature blogs and news items that will educate, excite, and entertain you.
Tuesday Night Rheumatology will be devoted to providing a platform to discuss the challenges women in rheumatology face. Panels of experts from diverse backgrounds will share unique perspectives and provide advice on negotiating contracts, balancing career with home life, and discussing the lives of women in academia versus clinical practice.
Additionally, we will feature Therapeutic Updates on gender differences in disease states, therapeutic outcomes, pain perception, disease manifestations, and access to healthcare.
Now that you know WHAT we are doing, HOW we are doing it, I want to tell you WHY. The reason is simple. We want to create a conversation that will help women in rheumatology. This campaign will provide tools to improve the workplace environment, give guidance on career advancement, and foster a sisterhood for collaboration and mentorship.
We hope you enjoy Women in Rheumatology: The XX Factor this month, and look forward to your feedback, participation and contributions to these important conversations.