The School of Pharmacy and Alumni and Donor Relations Office (ADRO) at the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) organised an online webinar titled “Women in healthcare: From the front line to the industry” on 27 November 2021. The speakers were our alumni in Malaysia and the United Kingdom from different disciplines in the healthcare fields. The session was moderated by UNM alumna Dr Grace Ch’ng, who is currently a teaching fellow at the School of Pharmacy.
The list of speakers comprised Dr Lim Su Wen (PhD in Biosciences, 2014), founder of Oncode Scientific Sdn Bhd; Melody Kan (Master’s in Pharmacy, 2011), a clinical pharmacist at Wellspring Surgery and Montpelier Health Centre, UK; and Natalie Lim (BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, 2012), a Medical Manager at Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd. The session attracted more than 90 participants including students, alumni and the general public.
The event began with a pre-recorded video of Professor Ting Kang Nee, the Head of School of Pharmacy, who gave an opening speech and also shared about her career journey in the healthcare field. This was followed by the main event where the speakers shared about their experiences, career journeys, mentors who had guided them, and their choice in pursuing healthcare as a career option. The webinar ended with a question and answer with the audience and a virtual photo session.
One of the main points that was underscored during the session was that despite women’s excellent representation in the healthcare sector, they still remained underrepresented in senior and leadership positions. However, men’s representation in the healthcare sector should not be neglected as they offer different perspectives and ideas. Only togetherness of the genders can improve the global healthcare sector.
The speakers shared some tips that could help young women when starting their careers such as being more confident, having the willingness to learn and to network with other peers.
Every once in a while, people face the challenge of not achieving their goals. “Be kind to ourselves, be confident, and get some feedback on our strengths and weaknesses,” advised Melody. Dr Lim, on the other hand, said that patience is needed when trying to achieve a goal: “Have some self-reflection and be determined to improve”. Natalie’s advice, “fail fast, learn faster.” It’s ok to fail first and learn from your failure before moving on to the next challenge.
All speakers agreed that fresh graduates need to be brave and seize opportunities that come their way, and not to limit themselves to a profession solely based on degree, but rather, look for job opportunities that can contribute to society. As digital innovation is becoming prevalent to the industry, fresh graduates were advised to equip themselves with additional skill sets alongside their degree.
“Aim high and try to achieve your goal. Try to build up as many skills and learn as much as possible. Talking to experienced people can also help guide you on your pathway,” advised Dr Lim.
For those who were not sure about their future careers, Melody advised them to surround themselves with talented people and not be afraid of making mistakes. Natalie added, “Everyone has their journey, and the way we achieve something does not matter as long as we achieve it in the end.”
The webinar was insightful to the audience, and there was plenty of interaction between the speakers and the audience. The event left the audience with valuable knowledge and experience for those joining the workforce.
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Posted on 8th December 2021