Women in Medical Leadership

female leader with team members

Price: $5073 (exc GST)

The number of female doctors is increasing at a greater rate than the number of male doctors. However, go to a meeting at any college or hospital and see who is sitting around the decision-making table. The medical industry needs a cultural shift towards more gender-diverse leadership teams and role models. Men and women lead differently, and women clinician leaders and managers have a significant opportunity to become confident, innovative, and creative leaders.

Women in Medical Leadership addresses the unique challenges and often "hidden barriers" faced by women clinicians who hold or desire leadership roles in complex healthcare environments. Through exploring leadership models, and topics including influencing, cultural change in medicine, leading teams and power and authority, you will develop your individual leadership style and identify its strengths and weaknesses. You will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and assumptions about what leadership is and how to exercise it, including navigating career progression in gendered professions.

Why women only?
Women-only programs help to create the content and dialogue necessary to stimulate new thinking around the shared gendered experiences of participants. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your experiences and hear the experiences of other participants, allowing for a holistic view of the medical industry from a gendered leadership context. Building on this shared knowledge, you will explore new approaches to learning and leadership development.

Building your capability through

  • investigating your personal leadership styles and preferences
  • challenging assumptions that are holding you back from leading
  • building relationships and a network that will support your ongoing development 
  • developing the political savvy required to make change happen in the clinical settings
  • building your capability for strategic thinking and influencing
  • exploring personal wellbeing in order to flourish and optimise satisfaction from work
  • identifying gender specific career deraillers
  • navigating gender dynamics and biases.

Our expert facilitators

Professor Polly Parker
PhD MPhil (Auckland), DipPhysEd (Otago), Dip.Teaching Christchurch

Polly Parker is an Professor in leadership and human resource management at UQ Business School. She has a background and life-long interest in teaching and learning which she has applied in both academic and corporate settings.  Polly is active in the area of women’s leadership and its development. She was a member of the steering committee and a presenter on CEDA’s inaugural Women in leadership program in 2010; delivers the Women’s Executive Leadership Program for UQ and within Thiess in 2011 and 2012.


Jennifer Witheriff
MBA (USQ), Grad Dip OH&S (QUT), RN Cert (PAH)

Jennifer Witheriff is the Director of GJR, a boutique consulting group based in Brisbane that specialises in business development, HR consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, training and facilitation. Her decades of experience in leadership development and coaching have equipped her with the knowledge and confidence to work with leaders at all levels.  She offers deep insights about complex dynamics and is genuinely involved in supporting leaders to transform. Her areas of interest include adaptive leadership, influencing styles and change.


Dr Jennifer Schafer

Dr Jennifer Schafer is the Director of Student Affairs at the University of Queensland (UQ) School of Medicine. A graduate of the UQ School of Medicine, Jen is a general practitioner with more than 30 years of clinical experience, 15 years working with the media as a medical reporter, and a career which includes medical teaching for patients, lay public, medical students, GP registrars, doctors, and other health professionals. She has a special interest in leadership training for health professionals, and provides leadership to ensure UQ medical students have a supportive learning environment in her role as Director of Student Affairs. A highly student focused role, she engages with the student body to enhance their experience and develop innovative solutions to issues and concerns about the progression of their careers.

Networking opportunities

Attendees will need to be Medical Officers with an appropriate level of knowledge and experience to contribute to discussions and case studies. Participants are selected from a range of specialisations and organisations to ensure diversity. This includes, but is not limited to, women in such roles as Senior Medical Officer, Director of medical services, Academic Medical Leader, Consultant,  Junior Consultant, and General Practitioner from both the public and private sectors.

This program is not clinical specialty specific.