Background: The Women's Empowerment and Leadership Initiative in the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia was established to support women's efforts to achieve promotion, leadership positions, and equity in pediatric anesthesiology through coaching, mentoring, sponsorship, and networking. Career advancement relies on the establishment of mentoring relationships within institutions and at regional and national levels. Prior to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, networking was primarily conducted at large national meetings. Aims: When national meetings were canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women's Empowerment and Leadership Initiative sought to reduce networking barriers by creating a pilot program called “Grow and Advance through Intentional Networking” (GAIN). Materials & Methods: Monthly 1-h virtual GAIN sessions were developed based on topics requested by the Women's Empowerment and Leadership Initiative members. Faculty facilitated psychologically safe small-group discussions to maximize engagement. Results: We present an overview of our pilot GAIN program, which has been well received by the Women's Empowerment and Leadership Initiative members and met with continuous demand for more sessions. Discussion: Professional networking is critical for career advancement and for developing and maintaining a sense of community and well-being. Early- and mid-career physicians depend on these relationships to facilitate academic productivity and promotion. Conclusion: Programs like the Women's Empowerment and Leadership Initiative GAIN are critical for advancing our specialty and supporting the well-being of pediatric anesthesiologists. GAIN addresses barriers to professional networking, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine