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Leaders don't take no for an answer

Anthea Mowat 2014
MOWAT: 'Why not me?'

Women in medicine must never take no for an answer when pursuing leadership roles, a conference has heard.

Speaking at the Medical Women’s Federation centenary conference in London last week, BMA representative body chair Anthea Mowat cited her own career as an example of what self-belief and determination could achieve.

Dr Mowat explained how she had gradually worked towards achieving her leadership ambitions, having taken four years out from medicine early in her career to care for her mother.

She said that following the birth of her children, she returned to the profession as an associate specialist in anaesthesia, and went on to serve as the staff, associaciate specialists and specialty doctors conference chair for five years.

She said the national structures and her local division had given her routes to leadership.

‘I realised that the key to it is gentle persistence; you get what you want by finding ways to do it. If somebody says no, [you should] go away and find another route to do the same thing, come back and do it.

‘Rather than thinking “why me?” I turned it around to “why not me?”’

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