During the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, a new award will be given out to recognize an extraordinary female leader in oncology and role model who has excelled as a mentor and has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of women colleagues as clinicians, educators, and researchers in oncology. The award seeks to recognize and promote the work of women mentors in oncology and, ultimately, narrow career gender disparities through the mentorship and professional development of women oncology professionals.
Women in oncology can be assisted greatly during their careers by different types of mentors, including academic, leadership, financial, education, and work-life balance mentors. Mentors and sponsors are key to a young female oncologist’s successful journey to career and personal success. We all need to gain the skills of negotiation, visibility, and being a valuable team member. As our careers progress over time, we may need mentors that have skills in different areas that would assist in optimizing our professional goals. Too often, this valuable gift of mentorship goes unrecognized. Passing skills on to the next generation of oncologists is one of the most valuable assets that we have to assist future oncologists as well as the patients they treat.
The Women Who Conquer Cancer (WWCC) is a program of the Conquer Cancer Foundation that is designed to offer critical support to young women in cancer research to help them build their careers and stay in the field. Mentors play a critical role in the development of the next generation of oncologists. The new annual Mentorship Award will further signal ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation’s commitment to women oncology professionals by recognizing a woman who has dedicated her time, energy, and expertise to advance the career of oncology professionals.
If you have not already done so, I encourage you to recognize the incredible women mentors you know by nominating them for the Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award; the nomination period closes Friday, January 29, 2016.