"What is The Big Deal?" Those honest and frustrated words were what my daughter said to me one day when she came home from Girl Scouts having learned about some of the historical facts of women in history. None of it made any sense to her. Why would you treat anyone differently – ever? It was my first experience of my then 8 year-old daughter learning about our collective history. There is something about this exchange that changed me. I look at the world a little differently now.
It is easy to look at this history of women and work, or even the current state of things and get angry. Depending on the report you read, between 70-80% of healthcare workers are women, and yet they make up only a small percentage of executive teams. A recent HIMSS compensation study showed a widening gap between women and men in Healthcare IT, with women earning 78 cents to every dollar. The problem with anger, is that it only gets you so far. While it is important to acknowledge the facts and our history – it is even more important to overcome it.
“Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.”
Sometimes even a conversation about disparities becomes a virtual minefield – people get passionate and personal when talking about issues that hit so close to home. This does not mean that it is not important, but it needs to be thoughtful and intentional. Our lived experiences shape our opinions, approaches and attitudes in life and in the workplace.
When 12 women in various stages of their lives and careers came together just outside Atlanta – there were many things that happened when a collaborative & comfortable space was created. We shared stories and learnings from our lives and experiences. Relationships moved from casual connections to friendships. People who used to connect occasionally on Twitter, now text and call each other.
There is something very real and very different about creating collaborative relationships that are mutually beneficial as opposed to formal, contrived or forced mentoring relationships.
There is a social ecosystem in business, and building social capital is pivitol to hitting the next rung on the ladder. This is a step that is not going to come from a corporate mentor or from a book club discussion - but it will come from building relationships with each other and supporting each other as we move forward.
Doyenne Connections is built and designed specifically for that purpose. To foster a new kind of social network that will change the face of leadership at the corner of healthcare and technology.