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How to support women while still running a successful business
Fetch faculty and veterinary students sat down together to discuss supporting women in the veterinary profession while still maintaining a successful business
We are closing out the end of Women’s History Month with another discussion from the women's veterinary panel from our Fetch dvm360® conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. They discussed how to find a balance in supporting women in the profession while still running a successful business and/or veterinary practice.
Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB: It feels sometimes scary to me because I stood on the shoulders of all the women [who came before me in this profession] and my generation of women was with the generation that spoke truth to power. I was born with my fists up and I fought loudly. I don't care if I'm in a board meeting, I fight back. Now we are power. And that's what feels uncomfortable. Because how do I support the women underneath me who I mentor who I grow as doctors and as human beings and still have power and run a business?
So how do I, let's say, honor, a young veterinarian’s desire to take 6 months off with her baby, (which I honor and I support and I fought for), how do I make revenue? How do I support all the women who are making $20/hour who work for me? And I don't hear anybody talking about that. I just hear “rah, rah, let's go, let's support women,” well, no one does that more than me. But how do I do that and support all the women? How do I support women and make really hard choices as a girl boss, because that's different than being somebody's friend.
Mia Cary, DVM: Thankfully, with innovation, we're seeing so many different types of practice models, which I think helps with a lot of that. We've evolved as a profession, though we still have a long way to go in a lot of [other] ways. Being able to support someone that's out for 6 months, we have different ways of setting up, not only schedules, but practice types and practice approaches, which helps with that.
Joya Griffin, DVM, DACVD: I think it's an interesting dichotomy, because I don't always think about it. But even in my short time as a shareholder in our company, the younger doctors that come in, they don't want to work the same way that I worked, or had to work, or maybe just did work. I'm not sure if I was brainwashed into believing I had to work the way that I did. But they don't want that as much. There's like this work-life balance that we all discuss and talk about. And for me, it's a different definition than maybe someone 10 years younger than I am. So, I think it is a challenging [topic].
Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB: What I had to learn to do was to come to these meetings with my doctors, and to mentor them in a way that has no judgment of them, and no judgment of myself. Because I work hard, that is who I am. And I actually really love it and enjoy it and I'm not apologetic. And I also still love my family, and that's okay…. I'm mentoring women and trying to find a way to guide with empathy and without judgment.
Coretta Patterson, DVM DACVIM (SAIM): I think that's where our young doctors are struggling now is the boundaries of what's okay and what's not okay. And what their “okay and isn't okay” might be a little different from ours. I know where I'm willing to compromise and where I'm not…So then I also have generosity for you and where your [boundaries] are. I think that that's something that we can't overemphasize enough for people that are coming into the profession, [to state] what are your boundaries. Because otherwise you leave, right? That's what we're seeing.
Natalie Marks, DVM, CVJ: Yeah, I love that. And I also think that that goes hand in hand with setting expectations. I had silent expectations of others on my team that I didn't communicate. And then I had different expectations for myself. And then when those who needed to know [what the expectations were] it caused frustration and negativity in the air. So one of the greatest things that I think I've learned from other mentors was to be very clear with my expectations in a compassionate, generous way. But then also ask the team, what are your expectations of me? Let's put them all out on the table respectfully, and figure out where we can align.