High-flying women like Drs. Karen Bradley and Lori Teller are role models for me in my career.
At the 2015 Western Veterinary Conference, female veterinarians shared their stories of local, state and national leadership in a special session organized by the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI). An attendee shared this reaction with Veterinary Economics magazine:
I learned at a young age that having strong women as role models has a huge impact on young girls. I was fortunate to have many of these women around me when I was growing up. I was taught that being a girl was not a limitation, but that many times I would need to work harder to accomplish my goals.
I never lost sight of my goal to become a veterinarian-it just took me a little longer to get there. Now that I'm here, my goals continue, and I want to help make a difference for young girls and women in my community and in my profession.
Karen Bradley, DVM, the president of WVLDI, and Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP, past-president of the Texas VMA, have already been doing these things, and I wanted to learn how they did it. I'm just getting started in my community. I started with my daughter's career night at school about three years ago. I gave four presentations about being a veterinarian to groups of 20 to 30 students and their parents. I've given presentations to my daughter's 4-H club and the local Cloverbud Club. I've mentored three young ladies who thought they might be interested in becoming veterinarians. One is attending the University of Findlay as a pre-veterinary student. Another is pursuing an animal science degree and has plans of going to veterinary school. A third is heading into her clinical year of veterinary school this spring.
I want to continue doing the things I'm doing now, but I want to do more. Karen and Lori are doing the "more" I want to do.
I have two young daughters and a third on the way. I want to be the best role model I can be for them, my nieces and other women I can have an impact on. My vote would be for Veterinary Economics and dvm360.com to work side-by-side with these ladies and encourage other women to become leaders in our profession. (Editor's note: We're working on it, Dr. Kidd!)
Jessica Kidd, DVM
Green Meadow Veterinary Hospital in Marietta, Ohio.