As a successful female plastic surgeon in New York City, Dr. B. Aviva Preminger knows first-hand the intrinsic and extrinsic obstacles facing women who pursue leadership positions in their careers. While almost equal numbers of both sexes pursue careers in the medical field, it is the women who are historically less likely to reach senior ranks.
Along with several of her esteemed peers, Dr. Preminger explored reasons for this gender gap as well as strategies for encouraging female leadership in a recent article published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The article – entitled Melting the Plastic Ceiling: Overcoming Obstacles to Foster Leadership in Women Plastic Surgeons — discusses ways to overcome the so-called “glass-ceiling effect” that places certain disadvantages on women in the business world. Not only are women underrepresented in senior positions, they earn substantially less than their male counterparts.
The authors cite numerous roadblocks faced by women pursuing careers in plastic surgery today, from reduced confidence levels that might prevent one from seeking promotion and fewer networking opportunities to gender role biases ingrained in our culture. Although more dual-income families are sharing home and child care responsibilities than before, surveys shows that women surgeons still spend more time on parenting and household activities, which may hinder efforts dedicated toward professional advancement.
Creating a culture of women leaders
The article highlights the important and invaluable role that women leaders provide their businesses, and organizations – in the medical profession and other industries. By employing non-traditional strategies, women can become their own best advocates, seeking career advancement, proper recognition, and equal salaries for equal work.
In order to support and nurture female leaders in the workplace, the authors suggest a multi-faceted approach that includes:
- Increasing mentorship opportunities for women to help young talent jumpstart their careers
- More self-advocating on the part of female plastic surgeons and professionals
- Demanding better work-life balance
- Increasing child care resources and facilities for working mothers
- Ensuring promotion criteria are transparent for new hires
- Recognizing women’s professional and academic accomplishments to encourage others
Within the specialty of plastic surgery, young women doctors are encouraged to volunteer for new opportunities, network with established female surgeons who are leaders in their field and seek out advanced training to enhance their skills.
About Preminger New York
Dr. B. Aviva Preminger’s boutique plastic surgery practice is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side where she performs both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face and body. Dr. Preminger is a mother of three young children and has a keen understanding of the challenges faced by women in the workplace.
Just like her patients, whom she strives to empower with confidence, Dr. Preminger hopes to foster and encourage leadership potential in all women.
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