Culture Matters: The Pivotal Role of Culture for Women’s Careers in Academic Medicine
Acad Med. 2014;89:00–00.
Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD
In this recently published paper by Alyssa Westring investigating the workplace for women physicians and how “overwork” is handled, she and her colleagues found that the culture of the department/division played “a crucial role in women’s work-to-family conflict and can exacerbate or alleviate the impact of extremely high work demands.” The findings are not surprising but more evidence that with a supportive work environment we work harder and are happier! But what exactly is that supportive environment and how do we tailor it to the individual?
It is interesting that even in my own institution we are finding more groups of women physicians coming together. Women faculty in various divisions have created book clubs, faculty groups, and casual meetings along with the more formal Women’s Advisory Council. Over time, we find we need the camaraderie of the group and the support we receive from just interacting and sharing is invaluable. Most of these small groups are not formally approved but have sprung up out of a desire to learn and share.
This concept is why I am a part of AMWA. Though a national organization, I feel as if I have a sisterhood around the country and the more I get involved, the more I receive in support.