The girls side of the ole boys club

Dr. Christopher Knotts is a current plastic surgeon/former journalist and blogs monthly on his experiences as a male WWLI board member.

As a white male surgeon, the old boys club is my world. Lack of diversity and nearly always being in the majority is the norm. So attending a board meeting of the Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative and being the only male board member in the room was a little transition. And a welcome one!

In any new group, there is the potential for an existing ‘clique’ mentality, and the underlying need to belong, but I noticed immediately this group of women leaders would be different. There was an immediate sense of welcome and inclusion, complete with an ice breaker! No competition, no waiting silence, no formality, no drama. The contrast to other executive boards was immediate, and after some reflection, I think the demographic was the reason. When a small group of proven leaders comes together with a common goal, no one person needs to be the leader anymore. A mutual respect and understanding is immediately present, just by being allowed at the table.

With a multitude of exciting new speakers for 2016, the empowering culture behind WWLI will hopefully spread to your organization and its members as well. I take a little something home from each speaker, and can’t help but feel excitement about working with the group to make sure you do the same.


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