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Top tips from the 2023 AHA Scientific Sessions for enhancing gender equality in cardiology

We attended several sessions in the Go Red for Women lounge at the 2023 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia and partnered with the AHA for a joint session during the conference. At all these sessions, world-leading experts shared pearls of wisdom we wanted to ensure the entire Women As One community can benefit from.

International Organizations Accelerating Women Leaders: Challenges and Opportunities – Women as One and AHA Joint Session

  • Don’t go the path most traveled; go where there is no path and leave a trail.
  • Stretch beyond your comfort zone to be seen and heard.
  • Look for mentors who can equip you with a toolkit, not just a mentor within your specialty.

What were their top three tips for success?

Dr. Nanette Wenger

  1. Value yourself.

  2. Value people.

  3. Trust.
Dr. Andréa Brandao

  1. Have a purpose.

  2. Focus on excellence.

  3. Be honest.
Dr. Michelle Albert

  1. Be authentic.

  2. Have a growth mindset.

  3. Collaborate.

Drs. Michelle Albert, Andréa Brandao, Nanette Wenger and Blanche Cupido

How to be better leaders of women: Interplay of empowerment, allies and integrity

  • Develop a model that works for all physicians to pursue their personal and professional goals.
  • Empower them, make them feel seen and heard, and provide resources to pursue their goals.
  • Review your promotion processes and the unspoken cultures that keep women where they are.
Drs. Larry Allen, Eldrin Lewis, Sandra Lewis, Garima Sharma, Kamala Tamirisa, Annabelle Volgman, and Sean M. Wu

Building diverse research teams

  • Be purposeful in recruitment.
  • Ensure that everyone feels valued; this will also help retain a diverse team and culture.
  • If colleagues or leaders need convincing of the value of diversity, show them;
  • The data for how it creates better science.
  • The business case for why it’s better for the bottom line.
Drs. Elena Aikawa, Ngan Huang, Modele Ogunniyi, Odayme Quesada, and Marlene S. Williams

How to be an upstander, not a bystander

  • Presume that harm was not intended.
  • Call the perpetrator into the conversation; don’t call them out.
  • Describe the behavior and the feelings it created rather than label it.
  • Offer macro-validations, they’re the perfect antidote to micro-aggressions.
  • Leaders: Be vulnerable; it will help foster a psychologically safe environment
Drs. Emilia Benjamin, Robert Harrington, Roxana Mehran, Laxmi Mehta, Jennifer H. Mieres, and Patricia Nguyen

How to successfully progress from early to mid-career

  • Have a strategy and a team of people that can support you to achieve it.
  • Know the requirements at your institution.
  • Ask your Chair for the unwritten expectations and what resources they have to support you.
  • Think big when planning your publications.
  • Find supportive mentors and sponsors.
  • It doesn’t matter how many downs you have; it matters how many times you get back up.
Drs. Joanne Chikwe, Jane Grande-Allen, Dawn Hui, Roxana Mehran, Ourania Preventza, Jeffrey Weitz, and Y Joseph Woo

Women As One was delighted to partner with the American Heart Association for our special evening reception during the AHA Scientific Sessions. Our mission at Women As One is to promote the many talented women in cardiology worldwide; join our global community of over 2,300 women physicians today to access career-advancing opportunities.