Leadership event aims to help women reach the summit

June 22, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

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Earlier this month, more than 400 women — and a handful of men — from across the U.S. came together in Ann Arbor to network, engage and learn from one another.

They all participated in the fourth annual Leadership Summit for Women in Academic Medicine and Healthcare, a program sponsored by the U-M Medical School, Michigan Medicine, U-M School of Public Health and the Ross School of Business.

“This event is unique and exciting for everyone who participates,” said Sonya Jacobs, director of faculty and leadership development for Michigan Medicine, chief organizational learning officer at U-M and founder of the summit. “Our organization is thrilled to provide women with opportunities to gain valuable leadership skills and experiences and ultimately, advance in their career — that’s what this is all about.”

Meaningful takeaways

The day began with two keynote addresses, one by author Tiffany Dufu, M.A., and one by Mel Robbins, J.D., an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

The presentations touched on the importance of self-reflection, resilience and perseverance, reminding participants that it is never too late to break old habits and adopt positive changes in their lives — both personally and professionally.

Later, breakout sessions allowed participants to focus on topics that interested them, such as effectively leading diverse teams, improving their decision-making and enhancing their leadership skills.

“I enjoyed every aspect of the summit because it incorporated so many elements of personal success — such as mental health, work-life balance and resiliency — that I can implement in my day-to-day routine,” said Jina Sawani, a communications specialist in the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion who attended the event. “I know that every participant could find something meaningful to take away from the day — something that will improve their work and enhance their career.”

A day for recognition

In addition to the various learning opportunities, the leadership summit also provided a platform to recognize those who are making an enormous impact in the health care industry.

One such individual is Margaret Gyetko, M.D., who was presented with the Rudi Ansbacher Leadership Award for Support of Women in Healthcare.

Gyetko, who serves as the senior associate dean for faculty and faculty development in the U-M Medical School, has supported the advancement of women leaders as the senior advisor to the dean regarding faculty issues, as well as in her role overseeing the appointment, promotion and tenure processes.

Her award was named for Ansbacher, a beloved former U-M faculty member who touched a number of lives during his 38-year career in Ann Arbor. Ansbacher, who passed away in January, sponsored the Women in Academic Medicine Leadership Program, which has assisted more than 60 women since its inception.

“Dr. Ansbacher was a treasured friend and an invaluable asset to Michigan Medicine and the larger U-M community,” said Jacobs, who was also recently featured in Training Industry Magazine regarding her work in the field of leadership development. “Rudi’s dedication to the development and health of women will be felt for years to come — and through events such as this summit, we are all working hard to carry on his legacy.”