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"She Opened the Door" | Columbia University's First Women's Conference

Columbia NP students with Dean Bobbie Berkowitz and Faye Wattleton, CNM

What an honor to have been nominated and invited to join 3 of my DNP peers in attending "She Opened the Door" this past weekend. This 3 day conference (although, I only attended Sat and Sun) was a remarkable event to connect with Columbia alumnae from all fields -- nursing, medical, business, general studies, journalism, law, public health, international policy, etc. Being surrounded by such INSPIRATIONAL, INFLUENTIAL, AMBITIOUS, BAD A$$ women motivates me to strive to do more within in my profession. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Faye Wattleton, pictured above wearing a red top, graduated Columbia University School of Nursing in 1967 as a nurse midwife. She went on to becoming the first and youngest African American woman to be elected as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. WOW! It was quite the experience to be in her presence and to listen to her speak about how far we have come (and how far we also must go) in terms of reproductive justice for all.

There were breakout sessions throughout the weekend which we were able to attend, many of which had panelists of women. There were discussions about how identity motivates us, how subtle bias influences women in the work place, how bias influences the way we bring up our daughters, how there is a gender investing gap, how gender plays in education and in public health, what steps we could take to help women flourish in the work place, what the #MeToo and TimesUp movements are affecting society today, etc. There was just so much jam packed into the weekend, it's hard for me to get it all in words!

Anyway, the weekend concluded with Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She graduated ​​Columbia Law School in 1959. She spoke about the need for young women to find role models. It was difficult to during her time in school, but there is so much more room for growth today for that. When asked to finish the sentence “There are enough female Supreme Court Justices when...”, she responded, “when there are nine of course”.

She was a delight to say the least!

Hoping to continue the legacy built within the Columbia name! So many inspirational women to look up to and aspire to be like.



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