AuD, Director and Consultant Audiologist,
Kent Hearing Ltd, UK.
BSc(Hons), MRes, Audiologist,
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust,
I am going to start off this editorial by clarifying that the intention of the Sep/Oct articles is to celebrate women in audiology. When our team was discussing this topic, we all felt it had a very important place and took us on a slightly different path from the usual content of ENT & Audiology News. Alex Griffiths-Brown and I both had the pleasure of editing these features and had so many incredible women in audiology to choose from, but of course the editorial team at HQ kept us in check and so we have tried to give as varied a group of hearing specialists as we can. All are in a position of leadership, in different roles from different parts of the world.
In June this year, Harvard Business Review (HBR) published some findings of 360-degree reviews of women and men in leadership positions, where women out-scored men in 17 out of 19 “capabilities that differentiate excellent leaders from average” ones . Despite this finding, a shockingly small percentage of women occupy senior leadership roles across the globe. As audiology is such a female-dominated profession, we thought that this would be a great opportunity to inspire, motivate and encourage all the women audiologists and hearing professionals to follow their dreams and aspirations. And what better way than to get some great tips and advice, and real-life stories from five women who have excelled in their chosen paths and are making a massive difference to those with hearing loss?
We have an interview with Dr Shelly Chadha, well-known for her position in the WHO. She was inspired to expand her reach for the underserved populations with hearing loss. She talks about the opportunities that have come her way, and how to seize them while facing difficulties.
AAA president, Lisa Vaughan Christensen, writes an article that reflects on her journey to the AAA presidency and is filled with positivity. Mel Ferguson, formerly of the UK, but now in Sydney, shares her incredible story as a leader in research in audiology and hearing loss, and has practical advice and words of wisdom for those who want to expand from their clinical roles but are hesitant or need guidance on how to take that next step.
I have been lucky enough these past few years to work with Dorte Hammershoi of Denmark in the BEAR project as an advisor. She is driven by a need to make a difference in not just service delivery, but education and training, and discusses how the research collaboration on this project is achieving that.
Staying in that part of the world, Lise Lotte Bundesen of the Ida Institute shares her story on how Ida started and how the goal of increasing the implementation of person-centred care across the world is crucial to improving hearing health of those affected with hearing loss and their loved ones.
Kavita Prasad, the current CEO of Soundseekers, is another inspirational woman in a leadership role for a hearing charity. In a special Online Exclusive article, she gives us an overview of the scope of work, and the ways in which they improve the lives of those in five African countries. As a Trustee on the board for the charity myself, I am perhaps a little biased, but this is another example of a small team of women, running a charity that impacts on so many lives, and is another perspective of a leader in the charity sector of audiology.
This is all just a taster of the new articles. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have and leave you with this quote from Michelle Obama: “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously to a better self. The journey does not end.”
1. Zenger J, Folkman J. Research: Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills. Harvard Business Review.
Last accessed August 2019.