Jamila Rizvi on gender diversity at the Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards 

 

At the 2022 Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards event, 25 women were honoured for their contributions to and achievements in digital health across the health and aged care sectors Australia-wide and abroad.

Guest speaker Jamila Rizvi, Future Women Deputy Managing Director, spoke on the challenges of gender equity and the importance of women claiming their successes to more than 300 guests in Sydney, Melbourne and online.

Calling out the dangers of women’s tendency to put their achievements down to luck, she cited British Supreme Court Judge Baroness Brenda Hale, former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg and PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta among others as contributing to an “epidemic of female luckiness”.

She believes the root causes of the ‘luckiness epidemic’ are the expectations from society about how women should behave – to make themselves likeable above everything else.  

Jamila says society’s expectations of women is they be polite, helpful and modest. While ambition is a positive attribute for men, it’s seen as a negative trait for women. 

“Luck is a substitute for women’s lack of confidence and a deep held desire to be liked,” she said. Adding when women say they are lucky they deprive other women of learning from their experience. 

Despite the gender pay gap in Australia barely budging in 20 years and women continuing to be underrepresented at top and overrepresented at bottom echelons of our workforce, Jamila believes this generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than ever before.

However she says beware of gender equity as we adjust to our new normal post workforce disruptions from COVID, with women at greater risk of becoming out of sight, out of mind. 

“Workplace flexibility becomes a double-edged sword if it’s not embraced at the same rate [by men and women],” she said. 

In congratulating the award recipients, Jamila expressed gratitude for the technology used to treat and manage her recurrent brain tumour, and the ongoing treatment and communication with physicians more manageable. 

Her final message to the 2022 Brilliant Women in Digital Health was to be confident and claim their achievements as their own.

Telstra Health Managing Director, Elizabeth Koff AM, congratulated the award recipients saying they highlight the rewarding careers on offer in digital health for talented and dedicated professionals. 

“This year’s award recipients come from a diversity of fields including medical research, academia, health and aged care, in the private, government and not-for-profit sectors from almost every state in Australia with their work extending to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

“As an emerging sector, digital health is characterised by non-linear career pathways. These awards aim to raise awareness of how gender diversity as well as different skill-sets and experiences contribute to a growing and innovative health and aged care sector,” Elizabeth said. 

Watch a recording of the event featuring our award recipients and guest speakers (available until 27 October).

Read about this year’s award recipients in the report

Join the Brilliant Connected Women in Digital Health Network. 

Watch highlights from the awards event

Celebrating our 2022 Brilliant Women in Digital Health

Read about this year's award recipients

Awards nominations

Read more

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