Women's Symposium

Leading Healthcare & Beyond

Faculty of Health Sciences Women's Symposium 2021

Leading Healthcare and Beyond

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 12:30pm-5:30pm Eastern Time Zone

đź’» This will be a Zoom Virtual Event

Fees are required.

Increasingly, we know that women are underrepresented in academia and healthcare settings. The 2021 Women’s Symposium will be a venue where we can bring together women and their allies to consider how we might close the gap over time.

This will represent the first of these events, which we are hoping will evolve into an ongoing annual conference over time.

All faculty members who identify as women and allies of women within the Faculty of Health Sciences (and beyond) are invited to join us.

Each session will have a mix of external speakers and FHS leaders interested in exploring key topics around how we might increase the number of women in healthcare leadership positions in both academia and clinical work.

Overall Learning Objectives:

  • List key issues facing women in academia, leadership, healthcare, and society;

  • Add new skills to your basic toolkit for approaching key barriers that women face in academia, leadership, health care, and society;

  • Create connections between women and allies across McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences and beyond.

A Chance to Pay-it-Forward

Ticket Costs

To make this program accessible to trainees, we have a special program entitled the "Pay-it-forward" program.

We are hoping that faculty members who can afford this event will pay more to offset the cost for the trainee tickets.

  • Faculty "Pay-it-forward" ticket price: $100

  • Junior faculty ticket price: $50

  • Trainee/student price: $25

12:30-12:40
Welcome Addresses
Dr. Susan Tighe
Dr. Paul O'Byrne

Moderator: Dr. Sonia Anand

Mainstage Session: Leadership Journeys

12:40-12:55
Leading a Few to Leading Many

Anita Anand, LLB

MP, Government of Canada

1:00-1:15
Preparation & Strategy to Become President

Melissa Farrell

President of St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton

1:20-1:35
How Women Can Force Change in STEM

Dr. Imogen Coe

Professor, Faculty of Science, Ryerson University

1:40-2:00 Panel Session: Q+A

Moderator: Dr. Teresa Chan

2:00-2:15 Stretch & Start Zoom Breakouts

Breakout Sessions

Each breakout time will offer the same four workshops, allowing you to participate in two different breakout sessions. Please ensure that you choose one workshop per breakout session. There are two times:

2:15-3:00 Breakout Sessions - Time 1

3:00-3:45 Breakout Sessions - Time 2


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


Dr. Margo Mountjoy &
Dr. Susan Reid
Responding to Microaggressions Remarks at the Boardroom Table
Dr. Amanda Bell &
Dr. Sandra Carroll
Mentoring & Sponsoring: For Others & Yourself

Dr. Dina Brooks &
Rebecca Repa

Balancing & Optimizing Your Life


Dr. Sharon Bal &
Dr. Smita Halder

3:45-4:00
Reporting Back to Large Group:
Key Lessons for each Topic from Discussants

4:05-4:35
Pay Equity in Healthcare:
How Can We Get There?

Filomena Tassi

MP, Government of Canada

4:35 - 5:05
How to Diversify Healthcare Cultures

Dr. Sonia Anand

Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University

17:05-17:10 Closing Remarks

17:10-18:00
Networking Event @ Sophya.ai

Keynote Speakers

Anita Anand, LLB

The Honourable Anita Anand was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Oakville in 2019. Minister Anand is a scholar, lawyer, researcher, and mother of four children. Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, she moved to Ontario in 1985. Minister Anand is a devoted leader with a proven record of service. In her Oakville community, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse Foundation for Grieving Children, the Oakville Hospital Foundation, and Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc.

For the past two decades, Minister Anand has been a legal academic, employed most recently as a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto where she held the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance. She served as Associate Dean and was a member of the Governing Board of Massey College and the Director of Policy and Research at the Capital Markets Research Institute, Rotman School of Management. She has also taught law at Yale Law School, Queen’s University, and Western University. Read here full bio by clicking here.

Dr. Sonia Anand

Dr. Sonia Anand is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at McMaster University, and a Senior Scientist at the Population Health Research Institute. She is also a vascular medicine specialist at Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University. Dr. Anand is the Association Chair of Equity & Diversity in the McMaster Department of Medicine. Dr. Anand holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity and Cardiovascular Disease and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Population Health Research. Her present research focuses upon the environmental and genetic determinants of vascular disease in populations of varying ancestral origin, women and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Imogen Coe

Professor, Faculty of Science at Ryerson University. Imogen Ruth Coe is a professor of biochemistry and founding dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is famous for her advocacy work to increase the representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Dr. Coe is on the advisory board of hErVOLUTION, which aims to inspire women to enter into STEM professions. Read more about her at this link.

Melissa Farrell

Ms. Melissa Farrell is the President of St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton. Ms. Farrell is a health system leader who currently serves as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Acute and Emergency Health Services, within Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care where she leads the government’s acute care strategy and policy direction for a $20 billion portfolio. In this role, she has been responsible for a number of highly complex change initiatives across every sector in the provincial health system including acute care, community care, primary care and long-term care. Ms. Farrell is well known and highly regarded for her dynamic and collaborative leadership style and ability to manage and deliver transformational results. Read more about her at this link.

Filomena Tassi

The Honourable Filomena Tassi was first elected Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas in 2015. Born and raised in Hamilton, Minister Tassi has been the voice of change for families in the city through a lifetime of commitment to her community. Minister Tassi obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Western University in 1986, and also has a Master of Religious Education.

Minister Tassi practiced law for six years before leaving to raise her family. She later became a high school chaplain for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. As chaplaincy leader, she helped establish the D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) program, which has enabled thousands of students to live and work with the materially poor in the Dominican Republic. Driven by her profound sense of civic duty, Minister Tassi has been highly involved in her community. She is a past board member of both St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Catholic Youth Organization, and has volunteered her time with other local initiatives and organizations. Minister Tassi served as a Catholic school board trustee, and was the recipient of the 2010 Brian J. Halferty Award, presented by the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario for exemplary service. For her full bio, click here.

Accreditation Statement

McMaster University, Continuing Professional Development Office (CPD) is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) to provide CFPC Mainpro+ and RCPSC Maintenance of Certification (MOC) study credits for Continuing Medical Education.

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the McMaster University Continuing Health Sciences Program for up to 3.75 Mainpro+ credits.

This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by McMaster University, Continuing Health Sciences Education Program for up to 3.75 MOC Section 1 hours.

Through an agreement between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Medical Association, physicians may convert Royal College MOC credits to AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Information on the process to convert Royal College MOC credit to AMA credit can be found at www.ama-assn.org/go/internationalcme.

*Each healthcare provider should claim only those hours of credit that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.

Conflicts of Interest

The following Planning Committee Members and Speakers did not declare a relationship with a FOR-PROFIT and/or NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization over the previous two years: Clare Mitchell, Annette Rosati
The following Planning Committee Members and Speakers have or had a relationship with a FOR-PROFIT and/or NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization over the previous two years:
  • Sharon Bal: Faculty Employment with McMaster University; Ontario Medical Association Women Committee.
  • Teresa Chan: Faculty Employment with McMaster University.

Our Event Sponsors

Office of the Dean
Office of Faculty Affairs

Office of the Chair
Office of the Associate Chair, Equity & Inclusion