Women Leaders in Healthcare is an association, open to both men and women, which aims to promote women’s leadership in the field of health and life sciences and to overcome gender inequalities.
We do so by pursuing equal access to the leadership positions and balanced representation in public and private organizations, corporate offices, committees, and task forces. We do this through four important projects: PNRR; Observatory; LEADS award; signing of the manifesto to promote balanced leadership.
What inspired you to work in the international association sector? Would you recommend this career to others?
I worked as the General Manager of the Italian Red Cross for about 12 years, and was part of ‘RedViWo’ – the network for gender equality of the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in Europe. I have brought everything I have learned, the skills, and the spirit from this experience into LEADS, which is acting at a national level at the moment but is already looking to expand through international connections. I recommend that everybody should pitch in, support our goals, and join the growing, global movement that values diversity in a world where differences can be a huge source of wealth and creativity.
Can you remember a time when you needed to #BreakTheBias?
I would have many stories to tell, but one stands out: our childminder opens our front door and then comes to tell me: « There are two gentlemen here looking for the director. » I immediately think of my husband, who is the director of a newspaper, and I ask her to tell them that he is not home. I decide to tell them myself and who do I see at the door? Two of my collaborators who were looking for me! I remember, of course, I am a director, too!
This instance showed me that bias is everywhere, in all of us, and that the journey to overcome bias starts with awareness. That is why LEADS organises many multidisciplinary webinars to inform people and talk about biases, stereotypes, and tools to overcome them.
How important are diversity, equity, and inclusion for the future success of associations?
They are fundamental!! Diversity and inclusion lead to more effective problem solving, more creativity in designing the future, more representation, and to more reflection about the needs of all. LEADS carries out inclusive projects, with both women and men from very diverse backgrounds, competences, and ages. We aim to have the same number of men and women in leadership positions in healthcare. We believe that this is a key step to unlock the full value of all people.