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3 Reasons Why Leadership Forums Work

Photos: Courtesy of Vituity

Three years ago, Dr. Tiffany Hackett, an emergency room physician in San Francisco, saw a need to support women at her company, Vituity, which has over 3000 medical providers.

“We wanted a space and a place and a method for us to be able to have discussions and come together to see how we can better connect with each other,” says Dr. Hackett, an MBA and Vituity’s Director of Leadership Development.

She asked the chief operations officer to let her and her colleagues organize a leadership event for women. He said yes.

The resulting Vituity Women in Medicine forum was a success, with a 120 people in attendance, including 10 percent men. 

What started out as a one-time women’s leadership conference grew into a working group that now has nine women, including physicians and advanced providers.

Here’s why these types of leadership events are effective:

1. They’re inclusive

Vituity’s event welcomed women and men, helping all parties understand the stresses women face professionally and personally. They worked on strategies and solutions to support women and promote their leadership.

2. They’re responsive to the needs of the physcians and employees

The group meets regularly and focuses on recruiting, retention and offering support to women and men. Topics include work/life balance; handling maternity care and postpartum needs, like breastfeeding at work; and helping women find out about and apply for leadership roles at the company.

They’re creating short videos where leaders share their story and advice.

 “We want to highlight women leaders in our company so other women will know who they are, what they do,” says Dr. Hackett, who says the videos show women “’this could be you.’”

3. They create change

The feedback for Vituity’s programs has been positive. In fact, many people ask why the group didn’t start sooner.

While Dr. Hackett admits, “change takes time,” she’s optimistic the group will have lasting impact.

“I definitely see progress,” she says, noting employees feel comfortable asking questions and see the group as a resource and an ally.

She’s confident other organizations can offer similar programs to empower employees, especially women, to take on a more active role in the business.

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