GWIM Celebrates Milestone of 100 Women Professors

Posted in GUMC Stories

October 2, 2016–While celebrating the promotion of over 100 women to full professors in the School of Medicine, speakers at the welcome reception for Georgetown Women in Medicine (GWIM) on September 29 also recognized the importance of working towards even greater equity and diversity among faculty.

“As we think about that achievement, however, we should also envision, and certainly we all are working towards a time, when we don’t need to set a specific goal,” said Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, executive vice president of health sciences and executive dean of Georgetown University School of Medicine, after congratulating GWIM on their role in the accomplishment.

Healton gave examples of tasks for reaching that goal such as building a pipeline of women faculty at all ranks, expanding upon existing support and mentoring systems and encouraging leadership opportunities to enable the advancement of women faculty. Healton also noted a partnership with GWIM and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to address the impact of implicit bias.

“All of that is part of our work together in the coming year and beyond,” Healton said. “We now need to continue to take some concrete actions and steps forward as the leadership of the medical center. And I look forward to doing that and I am committed to working together.”

Programming to promote professional advancement

Kristi Graves, PhD, associate professor of oncology and GWIM president, congratulated the women professors at the reception. “Our goal is to promote equity in hiring and diversity in all sorts of aspects of the female faculty role here at Georgetown,” she said. “We are focused on the professional advancement of women faculty and we do that through a number of different activities.”

Over the last year, GWIM programs addressed implicit bias and procedural justice, two topics the group plans to revisit in the year ahead. Upcoming programs will also cover leadership equity and mentoring, Graves said. “We have a robust group who are very engaged and have been supported by prior GWIM programs and the women who have come before them and we’re looking forward to doing the same,” she added.

Career Reflections

The reception featured reflections by the women professors about their professional journey and experiences. “We will be recognizing our accomplishment through the year but this is both a visual reminder of how far we’ve come and then the charge to us to keep helping women move through the different ranks and seek advancement,” Graves said.

An entertaining email salutation made Caroline Wellbery, MD, PhD, professor of family medicine, realize how far she has come as a professional. “Amused as I was by a recent email addressing me as ‘Ms. Dr. Professor Caroline Wellbery,’ I felt a certain satisfaction as well,” she wrote in her reflection. “The title blinked calmly back at me the way my own reflection might, as though reminding me: yes, this is who I am.”

Kat Zambon
GUMC Communications