This Thursday, hundreds of women from around the world will gather here for the inaugural Women Leaders in Global Health conference, designed to highlight the work of women in global health and empower the next generation of female leaders in the field.
The daylong conference aims to raise awareness of the need for greater gender equity in global health leadership.
"It is incredibly important that we celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our great women and foster opportunities for the next generation in the pipeline. That starts with visibility," Michele Barry, MD, director of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and senior associate dean for global health at Stanford, told me. "Women represent 75 percent of the health workforce in many countries around the world and the majority of students entering public and global health professions, but we do not see this reflected at the leadership level. The conference provides a forum for us to begin to address some of the hard questions to move the action agenda forward."
Health care leaders who will be speaking or moderating panels at the event include:
- Sania Nishtar, MD, a Pakistani cardiologist and activist who was one of three short-listed nominees (and the only woman) for the 2017 Director-General of the World Health Organization
- Mamphela Ramphele, MD, a physician, activist and former South African politician who has held prominent positions as managing director of the World Bank and vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town
- Agnes Binagwaho, MD, PhD, vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity and former Minister of Health in Rwanda, who was instrumental in rebuilding the country's health system after the genocide
- Jennifer Leaning, MD, an expert in public-health and policy responses to humanitarian crises and the director of Harvard University's FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
- Hannah Valantine, MD, the first permanent chief officer for scientific workforce diversity at the National Institutes of Health, known for her work implementing diversity initiatives in academic medicine
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will also offer a video message to the gathering.
The day's activities will be livestreamed on the event's website. You can also join the conversation online by using the #WLGH17 hashtag and following the @StanfordMed, @StanfordCIGH and @WomeninGH Twitter feeds.
Previously: Stanford's Michele Barry on why we need more women leaders in global health and Gender parity in global health events: A conversation