Today marks International Women’s Day, which always holds special meaning here at Women’s College Hospital. This year’s theme of Break the Bias is especially poignant as it speaks to the work we do each and every day and our efforts to deliver care that is accessible and equitable.
Over the years we have come to better understand the complexities of bias, equity and gender in healthcare. Many women continue to be overlooked and underserved as healthcare traditionally overlooked the impact of sex and gender differences and how these intersect with other categories of difference to produce uneven health outcomes. We know that ongoing systemic racism makes the health gap even wider for Black and Indigenous people. And for trans women and gender non-conforming individuals, the barriers to access basic healthcare can feel insurmountable.
Healthcare systems have a great deal of work to disrupt many of the entrenched systems that create barriers to access. But when I step through our hospital doors every morning, I am proud and honoured to work alongside so many extraordinary people here at Women’s College who are committed to advocating for gender equity and who are dismantling these barriers in order to advance our mission towards equity for all.
Women’s has a long history of overcoming adversity, seizing opportunities and transforming care in pursuit of a healthier, more equitable world. Whether it’s pioneering the first cardiovascular rehab program specifically for women, taking a laser focus on the breast health of Black women, or leading efforts to increase access to transition-related surgeries, each represents an important step in addressing bias and brings us closer to being a more equitable world.
Last week, many of you shared how you are working to break the gender bias, as part of that legacy. It is truly inspiring to see the many ways you are working to dismantle gender bias through your research, your practice and your everyday actions.
As we commemorate International Women’s Day, we recognize the layered experience and complexities of gender bias and continue our commitment to advocate for a healthcare system in which everyone receives compassionate, patient-centered care. Let’s continue to work to break the bias.