WIN had an exciting year since being established in Melbourne in July 2015. What began as a robust email thread amongst enthusiastic trainees and intensivists, quickly crystallised as a committee, who worked together to launch a number of networking, research and advocacy endeavours.
The inaugural WIN dinner meeting was held on Tuesday 13th October at Hellenic Republic in Kew. This proved to be a fun and inspiring evening, with Dr Helen Opdam (Senior Intensivist, Austin Hospital and National Medical Director of the Organ and Tissue Authority) and Dr Deirdre Murphy (Director, Cardiothoracic ICU at Alfred Hospital) sharing their insights on the challenges facing women working in ICU. More can be read here and in the December edition of ANZICS’ The Intensivist
Next stop: Auckland. WIN presented “The Gender Agenda: How to find a woman at an ICU conference” at the ANZICS/ACCCN Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Auckland. Dr Lucy Modra outlined the gender imbalances that exist in positions of leadership in ICU medicine, followed by a discussion on the barriers that may be at play and possible solutions to overcome these. Dr Sarah Yong presented original research looking at female speakers at Australasian specialty college annual scientific meetings. The WIN research team plan to publish our findings, so stay tuned this year.
Dr Michele Schoenberger-Orgad (Director of Education Innovations at Waikato Management School and a senior lecturer in the Department of Management Communication at the University of Waikato, NZ) followed with “Gender and communication styles”, discussing gendered communication styles and its effect on women’s advancement in the workplace.
The session concluded with a multidisciplinary panel fielding questions from about gender imbalance in the intensive care professions and possible solutions. This much-needed discussion continued informally throughout the conference and on the Twittersphere- it was heartening to hear conference delegates discussing issues of workforce diversity over lunch and in other sessions!
Having made our mark in New Zealand, the WIN team continued to spread its wings interstate. It wasn’t long before WIN NSW was formed, kicking off with their inaugural dinner meeting in November 2015. Click here to read more and for contact details. There are also plans underway establish WIN in our other states and territories, so keep an eye on the website for further information!
On a different note, the Intensivist-Parent Support Network (IPSN) was formed alongside WIN in recognition of the particular challenges of trying to create a successful career and a happy family. Co-convened by Dr Jan Yeung and Dr Kim Grayson, key activities include networking meet ups, research into barriers to work-family balance and advocacy for change at a training and workplace level. Check out this interview with Dr Jan Yeung on establishing work-life-family balance, which first featured in the CICM trainee e-newsletter in November 2015. For more information on IPSN or to get in touch, see here.
All in all, it has been an exciting first six months for WIN and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us. This year we plan to host more networking dinner meetings, develop further resources on mentorship and leadership training and a more comprehensive website. If you’re keen to receive updates or become involved drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on twitter @womenintensive.