I am so honored to serve as the ACC WIC Leadership Council and Section Chair for 2022 to 2025. I am dedicated to enhancing our profession by engaging, preparing, and promoting women in leadership, achieving gender and career equity, enhancing professional development and encouraging wellness. Since 1995, I have been an active Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. I have served on the national ACC Women in Cardiology (WIC) Leadership Council and served as Co-Chair on the Communications and Social Media Committee of the ACC WIC Section. I have long been a fighter for gender equity for women in medicine and this had led me to be devotedly supportive of diversity in all areas, especially gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual preference. My intention is for the ACC WIC Section to support women cardiologists of all ages, all stages and all subspecialties.
My strategic goals for ACC WIC is to 1- increase our WIC Section membership and to increase our international women membership. Not all female cardiologist are members of the WIC Section. Some women wonder what is in it for them and what benefit is the WIC Section membership. There is a lot of misinformation that WIC is about women who specialize in cardiovascular diseases in women or WIC is just focused on childbearing and work -life balance. But WIC is here to increase the professional opportunities for women, promote leadership, enhance career development and achieve gender equity for female cardiologists.
Another goal is 2- attracting more women to the subspecialties of IC and EP. Better patient care through a more diverse workforce is an ACC platform and we need more women and especially more women of color in the IC and EP areas. Highlighting women in these areas will attract more women and FITs. I want all women in all subspecialties to feel supported by WIC.
I want WIC to 3- support women of all ages and stages. By this I mean we need to attract more women into medicine and increase women in cardiology training programs. Supporting FITs and Early Career is vital to increasing our numbers and ensuring the future for WIC. But we also need to support and retain Mid-career and Senior Career women who may be struggling with promotion, grants, research, publications, time-management and barriers to leadership. Too many women are leaving cardiology careers due to burnout and too many senior women are drifting away from mentoring and sponsoring the younger women. WIC aims to keep all women engaged and actively supporting each other.
My goals include 4- promoting gender equity and equal pay for our WIC. My early career was in private practice and there was no paid maternity leave and I was not treated fairly during my pregnancy neither by my female nor male colleagues. No woman should be forced to take unpaid leave or use vacation time or take excessive call post-partum. We will work to promote paid parental leave for all new parents and pregnant women. And WIC will strive for increased transparency for pay, promotion, leadership positions and in research and scholarship opportunities. WIC supports career equity for women cardiologists in private practice, employment positions, academics and industry.
Finally, my goals include 5- promoting physician wellness through WIC programs and our member website. Having down time and seeking pleasure in our personal lives is essential to a strong WIC Section. Many of our WIC members are artistic, creative and talented in areas outside of STEM. We embrace the diversity of our members and celebrate their gifts and encourage a community of women who support each other in their personal lives as well as their careers. We call this support group the Otter Raft and our goal is to make each WIC Section member feel they are essential members of the section.
I look forward to serving the Council and Section and am open to all of our members. I hope to meet all of you at our Scientific Sessions, the annual WIC Leadership Conference, the regional WIC meetings and on social media. I am here to serve and listen and would love to hear your suggestions, stories and opinions.
Gina Lundberg, MD, FACC
Chair, Women in Cardiology Section Leadership Council