Anita Clemo nThe UAB chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) formally launched roughly a year ago, at a lunch meeting so full that attendees packed the room, standing where there wasn’t room to sit. Since that time, Chapter President Lauren Walter, MD, with the assistance of the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, has crafted an organizational structure to engage the most pressing issues facing women faculty at the UAB School of Medicine.

On May 27, the next steps for UAB’s AMWA chapter were unveiled at a second lunch meeting. Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the UAB School of Medicine, provided the welcome and introduction, emphasizing the ongoing need for women to collectively advocate for gender equity within their institutions.

Lauren Walter introduced the guest speaker, Anita N. Clemon, who serves as the Chair for the UAB Commission on the Status of Women. Established in 2005, the Commission on the Status of Women seeks not only to rectify gender-based inequities but also to improve options and opportunities for women at UAB at every stage of the careers and education.

Clemon spoke about the many intiatives at UAB dealing with gender equity, as well as the Commission’s commitment to providing resources for women on campus. “When we come to work,” Clemon said, “we don’t leave behind the fact that we are a mother, a daughter, a sister, a partner.” She mentioned UAB’s recent policy of offering paid parental leave as victory, and indicated that this was only the beginning.

Following Clemon’s remarks, Walter introduced the new leadership for the UAB AMWA chapter, including Cynthia Brown, MD, who will serve as mentorship chair; Mamie McLean, MD, who will serve as advocacy chair; and Paula Warren, MD, who will serve as philanthropy chair. Each woman spoke of future initiatives that AMWA hopes to realize. Women attending the meeting were asked to complete a brief survey in order to assess their needs and priorities.

Upcoming meetings are open to all women faculty in the UAB School of Medicine, and will take place in West Pavilion D at noon on the following dates: June 22, July 27, August 24, September 28, October 26, November 18, and December 21.