The next frontier of feminism
- On May 7, 2019
- May/June 2019
FROM THE CEO
The next frontier of feminism
Gender equity is not a women’s issue – it’s a human rights issue. As such, both women and men stand to benefit by improving access to parental leave and flexible working conditions.
I would like to welcome all medical professionals to the annual non-member edition of The NSW Doctor. The non-member edition is an important opportunity to showcase the advocacy and services offered by AMA (NSW). We are grateful for the support of all our members who provide us with the resources we need to represent the medical profession and the patients of NSW.
Not only is the AMA a strong advocate for the medical profession and patients, but we offer members a range of professional services to help you with your career, your practice and resources for your patients. To learn more about these services, or any of our other members benefits, I encourage you to contact our Membership team.
I am proud that in this edition, we have focused on the issue of gender equity. Of all the discussions I have had with doctors over the years, the challenges faced by female doctors are some of the most commonly unresolved issues.
It is a source of much frustration to me that every time the issue of improving working and training conditions to help doctors balance work and family is raised we are told, “it’s too hard.”
My frustration is that, like many doctors, I am also an employer of staff. Like many practices, I have a comparatively small, female-dominated staff.
Each of these staff members add significant value to the AMA and when those staff members take leave, it has an impact on workflows.
However, I know the value of my amazing staff and I know it’s in my interest to support them and retain them.
I’m also legally obligated to support my staff. I don’t get to say, “it’s too hard” – not that I would want to.
However, gender equity is not a women’s issue – it’s a people issue. In my view, fatherhood is the next frontier of feminism and we need to ensure that fathers are as well recognised and supported as possible.
We have taken this seriously at AMA (NSW). We realise that we need talented male and female doctors to be part of our Council. We also know that busy doctors must use some of their domestic credit to be involved in the AMA. To make this a little more palatable, we have reduced the number of face-to-face meetings. We’ve also reduced weekend events, allow Councillors to attend meetings via telephone or video, and moved our meetings to weekdays.
These are just a few of the changes we have made to improve female representation on our Council and Board. They may seem small, but these are the measures that make a difference to doctors who are trying to balance their career, their family, and their commitment to medico-politics. And these are exactly the kind of changes that allow women to overcome barriers to leadership in medicine. Our Council has been made stronger by this diversity.
We are fortunate that our Councillors are part of our AMA family, as are our wonderful staff.
And we have recently expanded our AMA family. Andrew Campbell, AMA (NSW)’s Manager of Industrial Relations and his partner, Pia welcomed their daughter Eve Oi-Lin Cain-Campbell into the world on Saturday 23 March. Congratulations to you both – we send you our best wishes.