Welcome (back) to another episode of Le vital corp Salon! This is the podcast where ideas, inspiration, and empowerment flow from women - the women who do not let burnout or BS slow them down. Before we dive into this week’s interview, I wanted to remind you that The 33k Task List Project continues to grow. Ladies, I would love you to mail me your task lists. Whether they are neatly handwritten lists on journaling paper or scribbled on coffee-stained scraps of paper, I want them. You can learn what, why, and how you can help with the 33K Task List Project here.
Now for this week’s guest! [Insert drum roll.] Dr. Dara Kass is super smart and hardworking woman. Our conversation and time together, deeply resonated with me because she’s so passionate about feminism and gender equity. Dara has been a leader at various levels in the Emergency Medicine Education ecosystem for many years and works at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC. Recently, she turned her focus to achieving gender equity in Emergency Medicine through a primarily online resource and podcast she founded called FemInEM. During our conversation Dara talks about the problems she is solving through FemInEM. (Note: Many of these problems are not exclusive to doctors, but are cultural and societal issues that she’s working on shifting.) Plus, we talk about how Dara became a doctor, likeability bias in the workplace, gender equity not only the workplace and at home, knowing what battles to choose versus what to let go, and carrying the mental load as a woman and a caregiver.
As you will hear, Dara is a go-getter. What are YOU waiting for? It’s time for you to go and get to listening to this episode. :)
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Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Dara herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:13:46] And walking through that facility as the woman doctor ready to take care of those gunshot victims and firecracker fingers as the physician was actually super it was very transformative actually and probably one of the cooler things that I have deliberately gone through in my life because of I had a residency wouldn't have happened. It was an accident.
[00:18:24] The idea is just that FemInEM was started as a resource for women in emergency medicine to never have to stand alone.
[00:23:02] How can you change the culture around conferences and get women on stage without affecting the idea of tokenism and without making people think they're changing their standards?
[00:25:19] We created something called the FemInEM Speakers Bureau, which is not really a speakers bureau in its traditional sense. It's a searchable database of women speakers in emergency medicine. There are also people who are not in emergency medicine who have peripheral talents that would speak to an emergency medicine audience. It's entirely self-submitted, which also neutralizes or addresses a bias that women don't put themselves out there.
[00:27:47] It has been arguably our most effective effort at feminism - to directly and immediately neutralize bias in our field and move towards gender equity. We have gotten conferences that had no women on stage to 50 percent women in one year without anybody saying “boo” about the qualifications.
[00:28:49] Don't ask for permission. I barely ask for forgiveness anymore. This doesn’t happen for me. This is for the movement of the culture in our field.
[00:31:06] You don't have much ability to affect the world if you don't have a voice.
[00:33:36] We're watching the undoing of man...literally. Who's going to be there to pick up the pieces, but women? Let's make it a little bit easier to survive.
[00:42:58] You choose your battles. If you're somebody that's outsourcing efforts a fair amount, you need to decide where the outsourcing ends. Then, leave it alone. People that try to manage all of that, they get overwhelmed.
[00:44:43] You have to know what’s really important to you, and then hold on to those things and make them be true.
[00:54:22] That hurricane of emotional energy that you absorb as the core member of your family, especially when you're somebody who is paying attention to all the things that have to get done, you're kind of a control freak. You're somebody who doesn't miss anything. It can become overwhelming.
[00:55:13] How I choose to emotionally respond to those facts is in my control.
[00:55:19] I give myself permission to cry. I have my core group of people to lean on. Then, I go to SoulCycle.
[01:06:22] The amount of energy we spend remembering to remember is amazing.
[01:27:35] I would really, really like modern women to try to change the world for the women behind them in a way that is sustainable.
[01:30:09] I feel like I can do a lot of things well. What I can't do well is thrive in environments that do not value my skill set because those environments are not going to change. That clarity was probably the best thing I ever had.
[01:32:21] I just don't want to convince old white guys to do anything anymore.
[01:34:46] Letting go of the shit you do not care about does not make you a lesser person; it just makes you closer to being sane.
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