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Una Goncin is a PhD student who has served as president of the College of Medicine Graduate Student Society. (Photo submitted)

Women in Leadership: Una Goncin

As president of the College of Medicine Graduate Student Society, PhD student Una Goncin talks about the importance of effective communication in order to be heard.

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 that 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.


What is your current position and/or leadership role/title?

I am a PhD student in the Dept of Health Sciences. For the last two years, I have served as President of the College of Medicine Graduate Student Society and held appointments as a graduate student representative on CoM Faculty Council and CoM Graduate Chair Committee.

Describe one barrier you experienced, and something that helped you overcome that (or another) barrier, in your journey to leadership?

The largest barrier I have experienced in my role is effective communication – to have our voices as graduate students to be heard. We are slowly starting to overcome these barriers with the inclusion of graduate student representatives throughout the College and with the help of supportive allies.

How do you think COVID-19 has affected women's progress in your field or the workplace in general?

Honestly, there have been countless studies that have shown how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gender disparities that exist for female academics who are reporting lower productivity – in particular those who are bearing the weight of at-home childcare and those in single parent households.

What advice would you have for people (of any gender) in leadership who wish to be allies in advancing women in the workplace?

My advice would be to provide a nurturing culture in the workplace – provide a space to listen, encourage advocacy, boost empowerment, and support women.


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