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VJVirtual | Supporting women in the workplace

Nina Shah • 3 Mar 2021

Nina Shah, MD, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA, discusses ways to support future generations of female healthcare professionals, including offering more flexibility to women with families. This interview was recorded via an online conference call with The Video Journal of Hematological Oncology (VJHemOnc).

Transcript (edited for clarity)

Women are becoming a very significant, and even, I would say, a bigger proportion of healthcare professionals. And it’s really important that we understand that the system that promoted academic women, and I’ll speak for oncology, was built around a system that supported men. And so there’ve been times where things… Their meetings at night or very early morning, things that are not compatible with having young kids, for example...

Women are becoming a very significant, and even, I would say, a bigger proportion of healthcare professionals. And it’s really important that we understand that the system that promoted academic women, and I’ll speak for oncology, was built around a system that supported men. And so there’ve been times where things… Their meetings at night or very early morning, things that are not compatible with having young kids, for example. And that’s actually really started to shift, which I really appreciate all my colleagues being very supportive of.

So I think that as we develop, we have to remember that being an academic oncologist or an academic clinician and a healthcare professional in general, is a full-time job. Just like being a parent is a full-time job. A lot of us don’t take our jobs and just go home at five o’clock. We think about work and just like we think about our kids at work. So it’s just important to know that there’s flexibility required. Now that there’s been COVID, there’s a lot more working from home, which has actually been in a way helpful for some of us to be able to be there for our kids. But we also have to recognize that people can not be looked down upon for having some obligations outside of work. So it’s really more of a mindset. And when we all work together in this, actually we’re all more productive, because some of us work better at different times and allowing for a little flexibility and a change in the paradigm allows for all people to succeed. Not just men, not just women.

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