Host an AWAEM Event

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“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change” - Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

Getting together with like-minded women allows us to share, understand and together tackle issues that are holding us back in achieving our full potential. Below we have compiled some tips to help you jumpstart a group or activity at your own institution or within your region.

Tips for starting a women’s group at your institution

  • First check if a women’s group already exists for any other specialty at your institution. If so, it would be worth reaching out to the organizer to discuss costs, forum and any useful tips. Consider reaching out to your Dean of Diversity, Faculty Development, or Graduate Medical Education.
  • Gauge interest within women in your department or contacts within the institution who share your interests (faculty and/or residents based on your numbers and resources).
  • Decide on frequency with your peers (monthly, bimonthly, quarterly).
  • If there is large interest, consider meeting with your Chair to have the department fund your group. You may want to fund food, location, materials, and childcare to attend, etc.
  • Consider the goal of your meeting:
  • Is it socialization? If so, consider a group activity (e.g. yoga, non-medical classes, team races, etc.)
  • Is it educational? If so, consider sending out a relevant article or discussion points that would bring out good discussions (e.g. salary differences, mentorship, leadership skills, promotion, branding, written goals, CV, etc).
  • Discuss rules of engagement with the group that would promote open discussions.
  • Consider alternative venues for the event to best underscore the goals of the meeting (e.g. local restaurants, private homes, event spaces, or outdoors).
  • You can boost attendance by setting a date ahead of time so women faculty and residents can request it off.
  • Consider connecting the group through private social media (e.g. private facebook page, Slack, etc.)
  • When possible, take notes and circulate.
  • Reconnect with the group on a frequent basis to make sure that the needs of the group are met and that the goals have not changed.

Examples of Events

Lean In Meals. 

Mingle with the women colleagues at your institution or region to share stories and to learn tips on successful balancing acts from those who have done it before and have succeeded. Example: AWAEM networking luncheon

Book Clubs.

Choose a book that would allow a good discussion on tips and areas for personal and professional growth. For ideas, see our AWAEM E-Book Corner

Journal Clubs.
CV Review Session. 

Set your 3-5 year goals and have your colleague review your CV accordingly. Example: AWAEM Resident CV workshop at ACEP 2013

Walking Tours. 

Consider a cultural or gastronomical walking tour for your next meeting. Example: AWAEM New Orleans Cultural Walking Tour during 2016 SAEM Annual Meeting

Panel Discussion. 

Host a panel discussion with successful women in your region. 

Co-sponsor Events.

Hold events in collaboration with other like-minded groups at your institution.

Examples of discussion topics

  • Academic careers with young children
  • Development as women leaders
  • Retirement planning
  • Developing as female speaker
  • Relocating—for self or spouse
  • Determining best practices
  • Promotion in a clinical educator track
  • Promotion in a clinical scholar track
  • Career paths in academics and financial planning
  • Do kids travel?
  • Healthy work, body, and mind while traveling
  • Hybrid careers
  • Can you succeed as a part-time faculty?
  • Getting the most out of mentors’ time
  • When to say yes and when to say no
  • The myth of doing it all

Useful resources

Share your ideas here.

Contact us

If you are interested in organizing a networking event at a national or regional meeting, please contact us.