In the Year of Celebrating SG Women, we present stories which showcase and celebrate women’s multi-faceted contributions and progress at SNEC and SERI.
Join us to honour and acknowledge our team of amazing women who have made impact in the field of Ophthalmology, inspiring those around them with their brand of ethos in life.
Prof Gemmy CheungHead & Senior Consultant, Medical Retina Department, SNECHead, Retina Research Group, SERI
SNEC has many HODs who are women. How does it feel to be part of this leadership team?In a meritocratic system, gender shouldn’t be a consideration for the selection of any post. Both men and women can make good HODs. While women HODs can serve as a good role model, especially for younger female colleagues, we should also be a source of inspiration to guys as well!
When you pursued a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), did you foresee yourself in this role?My main consideration is to do my best at each task and opportunity. Whether it leads to a promotion or other recognition is secondary. Some may say this attitude is also quite common among women in general. Women focus on doing the work quietly without asking for a lot of recognition or attention. In contrast, men are often more focused on their career goals, and are more active in verbalising it to their seniors. I believe management is generally becoming more aware of this difference, but still much more needs to be done. Also, I encourage young women not to be shy in getting their work recognised. More representation of women in senior positions will encourage young women to feel more comfortable in showcasing their work and achievements.
How did you balance family/personal life and career in your path towards HOD at SNEC? And are you applying the same techniques now as a HOD?
The competing interests of work and home is always there for working women. But I have found discussing my work with my children helpful. The support from my family keeps me strong. They appreciate that my work is helping patients and shaping the future of healthcare in terms of training and research. I have brought along my children to conferences, where they have seen me in action and have opportunities to meet my trainees as well as local and international colleagues. Now both my sons are pursuing science themselves, and we have even more to share.
What are your thoughts about making it to The Ophthalmologist Power List 2021? Do you have any words of wisdom for other women in ophthalmology?I feel very honoured to be on this prestigious list. It is heartening to see how much women are contributing to our profession. Those in leadership positions can lead by supporting and encouraging women at every level through their career development, as well as by creating opportunities for women to showcase their good work and be recognised.
here to check out the
Women of Vision series.
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