March is Women’s History Month. During this time, we aim to celebrate and recognize women’s achievements in history, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.
This month Frontier Nursing University (FNU) will highlight a few female leaders at FNU in Q&A style blogs. Previously, we highlighted Dr. Anne Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE, FACNM, FNU Professor and Course Coordinator, whose scholarly focus is on nursing history. Next, we will feature FNU’s Dean of Nursing, Dr. Joan Slager, CNM, DNP, FACNM, FAAN.
1. What advice would you give to women in your field (midwifery/nursing/healthcare)?
Arm yourself with evidence. Whenever faced with a challenge I found that data was the foundation upon which any argument must be built.
2. How are you breaking barriers faced by women in your field?
I think it is important to believe in yourself and remember that actions often speak louder than words. Demonstrate excellence in your work or practice, admit when you are wrong. Stay on top of the latest literature so you can establish yourself as knowledgeable and competent. Never stop learning. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied.
3. Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.
For 30 years I have looked up to Kitty Ernst. She was tireless in her advocacy for midwifery as a model of care delivery that is compassionate, efficient, effective, and financially sustainable. She also never quit mentoring future midwives. I never had a discussion with her that didn’t end up with me having a “to do” list.
4. Do you have a favorite quote about female empowerment or from a female influencer?
“Well behaved women seldom make history.”
I also like: “Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”
Thank you, Dr. Slager, for your contribution and for inspiring and empowering all people to continue to work towards equality and raising awareness of the bias women face or have faced.