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Mentoring and Leadership Special Interest Group, MWIA – Supporting Women in Medicine Achieve Their Goals – Webinar Summary

MWIA Mentoring and Leadership Special Interest Group - Webinar Summary

Summary of 15 May Webinar

As Chair of the MWIA Mentoring and Leadership Special Interest Group, I am thrilled to report that our first ever webinar on May 15th 2021 was a fabulous success. I enjoyed every part of the effort and am very grateful to all who participated and attended. We should all be proud of the outcome as the comments in the chat box attached below indicate how appreciative the audience was.

Special thanks to my co- presenters

  • Professor Padmini Murthy (USA), who talked to us about leadership as ‘service’ to those relying on you.
  • Professor Wendy Bernstein (USA), who pointed out that women doctors step back from opportunities due to self-doubt, not lack of ability.
  • Dr Claribel Abam (Nigeria), who spoke about the importance of taking an interest in politics and training medical women in medical politics.

I presented on Strengths-Based Coaching and the importance of identifying which signature strengths each one of us possesses, then learning to use these in different settings.

Professor Antonella Vezzani (Italy) and Dr Joyce Barber (Nigeria) moderated the animated Q&A at the end. I am especially grateful to the African Universities Association for generously providing the webinar services.


Summary Outcome

  • We had around 309 register for the event
  • Registrants from USA, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Italy, Sierra Leone,  Turkey,  Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Zambia, Malawi, Germany, UK, Canada, Brazil, Uganda, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Malaysia, Vietnam, Egypt and Sudan, to name a few.
  • The Q&A was excellent and allowed interactive participation.

The feedback has been outstanding as demonstrated in these few comments taken from the chatbox:

‘Fantastic presentation, I like the focus on our strengths’,

‘I came looking for answers and they are here. Thank you panelists’,

‘Thank you’.

‘We would be grateful to have all slides so we can digest it and help others with the knowledge we gain. Again thank you so much’,

‘Brilliant presentations so far! many thanks.’,

‘These presentations are beautiful and very mind-provoking.’,

‘Wow!! This is so enlightening!!! 👏👏👏’,

‘Fantastic presentations, thank you to all the speakers.’

I am very happy to be a member of MWIA and feel honoured to have these opportunities and to provide these same opportunities to those who wish to participate.


Next Steps

  • The African Universities Association have kindly shared the webinar link and it will be posted on the MWIA website, for those who could not attend.
  • I proposed we host these Mentoring & Leadership webinars quarterly based upon the responses for registration on the night and it was agreed unanimously, to host more and include diverse speakers and voices. Names and topic themes from you are welcome
  • Please put your hand up – diversity is needed and enriches the conversation.
  • We also need to invite our younger members from yMWIA/ yAFMW to participate and give the mentee perspective.

More good things to come.


Mentoring and our use of the term

In academic circles, the term ‘mentoring’ has quite specific meaning and implications.  It is a contractual arrangement and has a clear set of goals – there is also a power dyad.

Our group is really one of sharing and learning with the aim of helping us prosper as doctors and women throughout the course of our life and through our experience with MWIA. Our Mentoring and Leadership Special Interest Group does not focus on the power differential, but aims to engender a spirit of mutual respect with honest, open communication in a safe, shared environment.

More good things to come and I look forward to hosting our next session in a few months.


Magdalena Simonis
Chair, MWIA Mentoring and Leadership Special Interest Group

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