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Celebrating Women in Healthcare on International Women's Day

Celebrating Women in Healthcare on International Women's Day

Embrace Equality 

The theme of International Women's Day varies from year to year.

In recent years, themes have included "Accelerate Equality" (2022), "Choose to Challenge" (2021), "Each for Equal" (2020), and "Balance for Better" (2019).

In 2023 the theme is "Embrace Equality" 

Being a working woman in healthcare can be both rewarding and challenging

Healthcare is a field that is heavily dominated by women, with women comprising the majority of the workforce in many healthcare professions. However, there are still some unique challenges that women may face in this field.

One challenge is achieving work-life balance. Many healthcare professions require long hours and may involve on-call or shift work, which can make it difficult to balance work with family and personal responsibilities. This can be particularly challenging for women who are primary caregivers for children or other family members.

Another challenge is navigating gender bias and discrimination. Despite progress in recent years, women in healthcare may still face bias and discrimination, particularly in leadership positions. Women may need to work harder to prove their capabilities and competence, and may face additional scrutiny or criticism in their roles.

However, there are also many opportunities for women in healthcare. Women have made significant contributions to the field, and many healthcare professions offer opportunities for career growth and advancement. There are also many resources and support networks available for women in healthcare, such as professional associations, mentorship programs, and networking events.

To succeed as a working woman in healthcare, it is important to be confident in your abilities, seek out opportunities for growth and advancement, and advocate for yourself in the workplace. Building strong relationships with colleagues and mentors can also be helpful in navigating the challenges of the field. Additionally, seeking out support from family and friends outside of work can help with achieving work-life balance.

Women have made incredible contributions to the healthcare field throughout history and continue to do so today. Here are just a few examples:

  • Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. During the Crimean War in the 1850s, she organized a team of nurses and significantly improved the care of wounded soldiers. She also wrote extensively about public health and sanitation.

  • Dr. Virginia Apgar was an anaesthesiologist who developed the Apgar score, a quick assessment tool used to evaluate the health of newborn babies. The Apgar score is still used worldwide today.

  • Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College in 1864 and went on to provide medical care to newly freed slaves in the American South.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, in 1849. She went on to found the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, which provided healthcare to underserved populations.

  • Dr. Barbara McClintock was a geneticist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 for her discovery of mobile genetic elements, which play a role in gene regulation.

  • Dr. Helen Taussig was a cardiologist who played a key role in developing the field of paediatric cardiology. She also helped develop the Blalock-Taussig shunt, a surgical procedure used to treat infants with congenital heart defects.

  • Dr. Gertrude Elion was a biochemist who developed numerous drugs, including the first immunosuppressive medication and the first drugs to treat leukemia and herpes.

These are just a few examples of the many incredible women who have contributed to the field of healthcare.

Nowadays, women are playing a much greater role in medicine than in the past. In many parts of the world, women were historically excluded from medical education and professional opportunities. However, over the last century, women have made significant strides in breaking down these barriers and becoming more active participants in the medical field.

In many countries, women now make up a significant proportion of medical school students and healthcare professionals. For example, in the United States, women now make up over 50% of medical school students, and over 35% of active physicians are women.

Women make up the majority of the healthcare workforce worldwide

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), women make up the majority of the healthcare workforce worldwide, with an estimated 70% of global healthcare workers being female. This includes roles such as doctors, nurses, midwives, and other healthcare professionals.