Who do you look up to for inspiration/mentorship? How do you continue to grow as a leader?
To start, everyone should look to the leaders of AAWR. We grow by meeting other women, participating in panels, getting involved in national organizations. You can also read (or listen) to books on leadership that are outside of Radiology. In addition, be active about seeking out feedback.
Why should I seek a leadership role and how do I get started?
Being a leader requires a commitment to more than just your own personal career, but also a commitment to your community and your institution. It sometimes requires mediating conflict and having difficult conversations but overall rewards are worthwhile. The main benefit is the opportunity to have a broad impact and have enough influence to make changes. Being a leader is not about just you; it’s about your team.
When pursuing leadership, start small. Get involved in your local community, volunteer to lead a committee. Quality initiatives are worthwhile as they are appreciated by the hospital. Most importantly, you need to take a leap, try something new, and grab opportunities when they present themselves.
How do you balance family/relationship needs in your leadership journey?
The answer to this question is different for every person. Every person has to look at their own situation and see what they can handle. Always evaluate how you are doing first, making sure to maintain your own well-being. It’s important to remember that we cannot do it all. We need to let some things go and ask for help. It’s helpful to think of this in terms of priorities rather than balancing and aligning your priorities with the priorities of the people/programs that matter to you.
Are there pathways to leadership for radiologists that are outside of the department of Radiology?
Yes, most definitely. Quality initiatives are a good to area pursue. QI expands the perception of Radiology within the hospital leadership.
How do we fix the pipeline problem to get more women in leadership?
It’s hard to break into certain leadership groups. Building the pipeline has to be intentional and reach back as far as high school and support women. Mentorship, sponsorship, and coaching are all critical for successful programs. Also use the evidence that diversity leads to more financial success.
What does it take to be a successful leader?
Certain skills and attributes are necessary, and they will depend on the role you are taking on. Therefore, you have to be a strong learner and self-aware. You have to be open to feedback and overall optimistic. Good communication and interpersonal skills across all groups of people is critical. Having a professional coach is also exceptionally helpful. It can take time but worthwhile to be educated in leadership skills.
How do early- and mid-career women breakthrough in departments with less open-minded leadership?
Identifying allies is critical. The He-for-She movement has been really helpful. If there are no allies in your group, then you may need to look elsewhere to influence change. You can also look outside your department, to your societies, or even outside of your societies for support.
Can academic radiologists have both a successful academic career and then also be successful at the executive hospital leadership level?
Yes, you can be successful in both. Ideally you will identify where administrative/operational challenges overlap with academic goals. Turn operational challenges into academic projects and involve academic colleagues and share results.
What resources would you recommend for those not yet in leadership roles or programs?
The AAWR will collate resources to share with the membership.
Does family situation prevent one from progressing in their career?
Studies show that women with children have improved productivity. Busy people get things done!