International Women’s Day 2022: Meet Dr. Maryse Bouchard, Sherry Jin and Teresa Pannozzo
Meet Dr. Maryse Bouchard, Sherry Jin and Teresa Pannozzo. They are three SickKids staff members who work in areas like orthopaedic surgery, medical engineering and protection services that have historically been made up of mostly men. These women are breaking down barriers and making a difference every day at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
On International Women’s Day, they reflect – in their own words – on their careers, and the importance of female representation and mentorship.
Dr. Maryse Bouchard (she/her/hers), Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
There can be a lot of pre-conceptions about what an orthopaedic surgeon should look like, and to some, it's not someone like me. At times, this has meant that I have had to work harder to gain trust or recognition from patients, families and colleagues in the field. However, I think coming to orthopaedic surgery with a different background and perspective has only made me a stronger and a more compassionate surgeon, and I hope it has influenced others in my profession to think more broadly and inclusively. Female representation in my field has come a long way, but there is still a long road ahead.
In medicine and surgery, mentorship plays a key role in helping someone build confidence, feel supported, navigate complex systems and institutions and manage the integration of their personal life and work. I am fortunate to have various roles in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), including as an EDI Champion and member of the Perioperative Services EDI Committee at SickKids, and overseeing the EDI and Wellness portfolio as the Residency Associate Program Director. I see my role as improving inclusion and respect for everyone in the department, division or residency program, which includes advocating for a culture and an environment that are safe and welcoming for women. Peer support is also critical to preventing women from feeling alone in our struggles, while encouraging us forward in tough times and creating an inclusive community.
Sherry Jin (she/her/hers), Biomedical Engineering Technologist
Nowadays, girls and women are being encouraged to become engineers and face less discrimination in the field. It is very important for women to support and motivate each other to help break down the barriers that we might face in our personal and professional lives.
To the girls and women who are thinking about a career in biomedical engineering, be prepared and be confident. You will discover that biomedical engineering is a challenging but very rewarding career, which will show you the beauty of how to design, maintain and repair medical equipment, and how technology can help save lives.
Teresa Pannozzo (she/her/hers), Team Lead, Protection Services
I have been a Supervisor/Team Lead with Protection Services at SickKids for almost 20 years. Female representation in my field has evolved over the years. There wasn’t any mentorship when I first started my career. I had to create my own path and I have found that in order to succeed as a woman in this field, you have to handle yourself with confidence and poise. It’s promising to see that there are now more women in leadership roles.
Mentorship is so important because when women support women, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. It should never be a competition of "I’m better than them," it should be, "I’m great and so are they." And when it comes to attaining your goals, don’t just dream about success, work for it. If security and protection services is something you're interested in, the rewards of being part of a world-renowned organization outweigh the challenges.