Women's leadership in health panel highlights International Women's Day

An event for students to celebrate women in health and inspire change will run on March 12 in an online format and feature a panel of female leaders in the health field.

The International Women's Day Panel, organized by York University's Empowering Women In Health and the York International Global Peer Program, will offer insights from distinguished leaders in the health profession and their encouragement about how to change inequities in the field.

Cartoon image of women of different races and professions

Join the online panel on March 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., join in to celebrate women's leadership in health, network with our panel of distinguished leaders in the field, and learn about how to start changing the existing inequities in this gendered field. The event is open to all students from all majors at all levels.

It will cover questions like: What does it mean to be a leader in health? How can you break societal barriers and mobilize your own power? Why is equitable representation in health leadership so critical? The event will include discussions around these exciting topics, as well as interactive games and activities with prizes to be won.

The keynote address “A Primer for Becoming and Being A Leader in Health” will be delivered by Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell, associate vice-president research, York University. Pillai Riddell completed her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of British Columbia. As a health scientist, her research is funded by all three federal research agencies and focuses on understanding the development of young children’s pain responses (biological and behavioural), in the context of their caregivers.

Following the keynote, three female leaders in health will participate in a panel discussion:

  • Nadia Prendergast (RN, PhD) – Prendergast is an assistant professor in York University's Faculty of Health, School of Nursing. She completed her master’s and PhD degrees in education and Women’s Studies from the University of Toronto, where her area of research focused on the experiences of internationally educated nurses of colour working within Canada’s multiculturalism practices. Prendergast's areas of interests reside in primary health care, community development, women’s health and equity studies.
  • Farah Ahmad (MBBS, MPH, PhD) – Ahmad is an associate professor in York University's Faculty of Health, School of Health Policy & Management. After completing a bachelor's in medicine, she went on to get a master's in international health from Harvard University and a PhD in public health from the University of Toronto. Ahmad is a health service researcher with a focus on primary care settings, psychosocial health, vulnerable communities and eHealth innovations.
  • Ruth Rodney (RN, PhD) – Rodney is an assistant professor in York University's Faculty of Health, School of Nursing. She completed her master's in global health management at McMaster University, and her PhD degree in nursing and global health as part of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Collaborative Doctoral Program from the University of Toronto. Her focus is on on understanding health through social, political, economic, and historical realms, with the desire to eliminate health disparities caused by various forms of discrimination.

To register for the event, and to see the full schedule, visit the event website.

Empowering Women In Health (EWIH) is a student female-run team consisting of members from diverse backgrounds who share an unfaltering belief that regardless of educational, societal or biological background, health affects all of us, and thus, equal representation and unbiased treatment is crucial in this field.

The York International Global Peer Program is designed to help new international students during their transition to life at York University and in Toronto by connecting them with upper-year students.

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