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Friday, July 11, 2014

Women's Leadership Development Workshop Featured at the 2014 AVMA Convention

Donald F. Smith, Cornell University
Co-author, Julie Kumble, Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts
Posted July 11, 2014

If you are coming to Denver for the AVMA Convention, consider enrolling in the workshop for Women’s Leadership in Veterinary Medicine.

What: Women’s Leadership Development Workshop (AVMA number 16518)
When: Friday, July 25th 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: Colorado Convention Center: 702
Attendees: Veterinarians, veterinary students, technicians, and administrative staff in organized veterinary medicine. MEN particularly welcomed.
Cost of Workshop: $60.00 (student and trainee scholarships still available), contact Dr. Smith at

• Julie Kumble, MEd, Interim CEO, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts
• Donald Smith, DVM, Professor of Surgery and Dean Emeritus, Cornell University

Kumble and Smith are both founding members of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.
Juile Kumble MEd
Donald F. Smith, DVM
Julie Kumble, MEd
Donald F. Smith, DVM
Interim CEO, Women’s Fund
Professor and Dean Emeritus,
of Western Massachusetts
Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine
(Photo provided by Julie Kumble)
(Photo provided by Dr. Smith)

Outline of Workshop

Session I. I:00 - 1:50
The Critical Role of Women in Veterinary Leadership
Lecture on the current status of women's leadership within the four main areas of veterinary medicine (practice, professional associations, academia, and industry) including an overview of the factors contributing to the leadership gap and critical elements to closing the gap.

Session II. 2:00 - 2:50
The Role of Mentoring in Career Advancement
From deans to industry professionals to veterinary medical association leaders, nearly all women praise and appreciate the role of mentors in their success. This session explores the elements that make for successful mentor/mentee relationships, and helps participants identify resources for finding the right mentors for them at different career stages.

Session III. 3:00 - 3:50
How Women Lead in a World They Didn't Design
Lecture and interactive discussion using case studies on three key areas: grassroots relationship, "contrapuntal management," and sustaining critical mass.

Session IV. 4:00 - 4:50
Practicing Essential Leadership Skills: Trauma-free Negotiation, Public Speaking
This highly interactive session will allow participants to practice and develop some key leadership skills.

Veterinary students are especially invited to attend this workshop. When we presented a similar program earlier this spring at Cornell1, many of the students were concerned by the current state of women’s leadership in the profession. However, they were also encouraged by the opportunities that lay before them. One of the participants was Michelle Forella, president of the Cornell Student Chapter of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI). She summarized her feelings this way,
Since we began the conversation, I have been equally surprised by the barriers my classmates already face, and awed by the motivation they have to overcome them. It is exciting to know that we are entering this profession with a network of colleagues already dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for women.2

Michelle will be attending this workshop, as will Becky Donnelly, another Cornell WVLDI officer. She adds,
From every new statistic that I read to each conversation that I engage in regarding women’s leadership, I become more motivated not only to break down models that prohibit women from attaining leadership positions but to also encourage my peers and colleagues to pursue any and all leadership opportunities.3

The attendance limit is approaching as we draw near to the convention, so consider enrolling now before it is too late.

Dr. Smith welcomes comments at

1 Smith, Donald F and Julie Kumble. “Women’s Leadership in Veterinary Medicine: A Course for Veterinary Students.” Perspectives in Veterinary Medicine April 2, 2014.
2 Forella, Michelle (President, Student Chapter of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative), email to Donald F. Smith (Cornell University), July 7, 2014.
3 Donnelly, Rebecca, (Officer, Student Chapter of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative), email to Donald F. Smith (Cornell University), July 8, 2014.