From left, Marilyn Baetz, Carrie Bourassa and Nafisa Absher are part of the International Women's Day series of Q&A's this week.

Women in Leadership at the College of Medicine

March 8 is recognized as International Women’s Day, and the theme for 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world."

Taking our cue on this year's theme, we are profiling women in leadership at the College of Medicine, selecting from a variety of positions including learners, staff, faculty, and senior administration. We found we had a lot of women leaders to choose from, which was no easy task, but a good problem to have.

At the same time, we recognize that Indigenous and racialized women are held back to an even greater degree in reaching post-secondary leadership positions. While recruitment strategies are important, even more crucial is developing the culture of the College of Medicine so it is a place we are all welcome to be, work, and learn, to the greatest of our abilities.

We continue to work on that through various initiatives through the portfolios of Equity Diversity, and Inclusion, the Division of Social Accountability, and the Indigenous Health Committee, as well as unit-specific activities.

We will feature our women leaders, two each day, over the week of March 8, concluding on Friday, March 12, with all profiles. Watch this space over the week!

Dr. Carrie Bourassa (PhD)


Nafisa Absher



Dr. Helen Chang (MD)


Dr. Marilyn Baetz (MD)


Dr. Valerie Verge (PhD)


Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro (PhD)


Una Goncin


Dr. Teresa Paslawski (PhD)


Dr. Karen Ho (MD)


Dr. Mahasti Khakpour (PhD)

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