It is not uncommon for an adult to ask a child: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Depending on their age, the answer might be a garbage collector, a firefighter, a teacher, a professional baseball player or a ballerina. The older children get, the more their answers are driven by jobs traditionally viewed as successful by society - a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a hedge fund manager.
But, it's hard to imagine being what you can't see. That is why it's so important to talk about gender balance and diversity in fields like diagnostic imaging, informatics and artificial intelligence, and how critical mentorship and advocacy are to helping develop the pipeline of talent that positions skilled professionals for higher level leadership positions?
Kudos to amazing mentors and advocates like Geraldine McGinty, whose conversation with the very talented Nina Kottler sparked a path of growth for Dr. Kottler. Few in radiology do not know the brilliance of these two women and their significant contributions. I love the story told in the article I'm sharing today about their first interaction in 2018. They are both respected leaders, and they are both giving back to the specialty through the networking and mentorship vehicle of RADequal (formerly RADxx), and in so many other ways.
Mentors will tell you honestly what you need to know in order to reach your full potential. Advocates are the people who talk about you when you are not in the room and who open the next door This article is spot on in highlighting the value of both mentorship and advocacy in providing greater leadership opportunities to women in fast changing fields like radiology.
So who are the mentors and advocates for middle school students - girls and boys - instilling the value of taking higher level math classes so they have a greater range of career options? Who are the mentors and advocates helping medical school students, particularly women and those from diverse backgrounds, to see the value of pursuing a career in diagnostic radiology? These questions should prompt radiologists to ponder how they themselves act as mentors and advocates to build the pool of diverse professionals in the first place,so that more individuals can see themselves in these roles.