Women in High Places: Redefining the Zeitgeist

By: Dr. Tanvi Maharaja PT, DPT, OCS

Last year I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the International Continence Society annual conference. Although the conference was in Melbourne, the whole affair was online due to Covid.

I learned new and exciting things about the world of pelvic health every minute I was there, but that is not what I want to talk about here.

What really made a mark on me was the women in the conference: these were the women in high places, from the most renowned and prestigious institutions worldwide; leading international names in the world of medicine: urologists, urogynaecologists, Ob-Gyn’s, physical therapists, nurses, midwives, physicians, surgeons, crème de la crème of the pelvic health world. 

What stood out to me most about these women was their solidarity and unity during all kinds of situations throughout the four-day conference. 

These women, moms, daughters, aunts, friends, granddaughters, grandmothers, neighbors, coworkers stood up for each other. They bolstered each others’ confidence. When one woman faced a technical issue, ten women stood up to help her and keep the conference going, always offering kind, cheerful, encouraging words. When non-English speaking women ( Spanish/French/Russian/German etc) struggled with the English equivalent of a word or a phrase, her colleague discreetly and quietly slipped in the word, making sure the spotlight did not avert from the speaker.

Not once did anyone shoot down someone else’s ideas or suggestions. When they disagreed, it was with utmost respect and professionalism, objective yet polite. During the post-session QA’s, the exchange was brilliantly friendly while maintaining objectivity.

How secure and supremely confident were these women in their own shoes, that they did not feel the need to make someone little to prove they were bigger, to make anyone feel less for them to feel more. Not one woman felt the need to step on another’s toes to make herself feel taller, or higher, or better. 

We need more of these women. In our lives, in our families, in our friend and social circle, in our workplaces, in our schools and neighborhoods, in our communities, and in our town halls.

And this can only happen if we are comfortable in our own skin, confident in our own identities, at peace with our place in this world. 

We NEED more of these phenomenal women, more of these kinds, nurturing, inspirational souls to define the moral fiber of our prevailing zeitgeist.

We need to BECOME these women. Each of us. We ARE these women, we just have to recognize it and manifest it. 

Let us be each other’s best cheerleaders, each others’ most vocal advocates, lift each other through stumbles and celebrate each other’s triumphs.

Dr. Tanvi Maharaja PT, DPT
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Pelvic Health PT
Certified in Orthopedic Manual Therapy, Spine
Yoga Life Coach

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