Love what you do. Empower your colleagues. Ask the tough questions. Use your experience to guide others. Lead from behind. Simple anecdotes like these can paint a detailed picture of what the journey to success looks like from a woman’s perspective in a male-dominated field.
We pooled together insights from HIMSS Women in Health IT community members who are leading the change they want to see on the front lines of the field and beyond. Embedded in their insights were five common themes that tell the story of their journey as women in the field.
- Be the Leader You’d Like to Work For
Everyone wants to be a leader, but how do you show your colleagues you have what it takes? How can you execute a new leadership role – for instance, one that has never existed, or one where you’re the first female, historically, to do so? Or, what if you’re a leader lacking the title?
“Operate consistently within your sense of fairness and consideration for others. Your colleagues and bosses will recognize this leadership trait in you, and you will be valued not only for your job performance, but as a role model.”
– Diane Carr, HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT awards judge
“For people in roles with ‘situational leadership’ – where you might not be a leader on paper, but are one in reality – cultivate your kitchen cabinet. Have people you know you can call and bounce ideas off, who will call you out when you’re overdoing it or haven’t fully thought things through. Whether they’re in or outside of your agency, know the people that have your back and will be there guiding you – not just in the job you’re in now – but throughout your career as peers, as mentors and as mentees: the full 360.”
– Jessica Kahn, HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT awardee
“One of the things I’ve tried to do is lead from behind. For me what that concept means is that the best way for me to shine and be effective and support my organization as a leader is to make my team shine. So I focus on supporting my team in a way that builds up trust and enthusiasm.
My advice to other women in health IT leaders: stay organized. It’s helpful to your team if you appear in control of what’s going on. You don’t let emails or meetings rule; you take the time to coach, mentor, or have that conversation.”
– Judy Murphy, HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT awardee