International Women's Day
Women Leaders in Homeopathy Breakfast Panel Discussion
Our first breakfast panel to celebrate International Women's Day hosted by our new CEO, Deshini Newman in discussion with invited female Members Marliese Symons, Gill Graham and Sujata Naik.
The panellists shared their experiences of joining the profession, becoming leaders, work life balance and the impact of COVID on their work. They also shared advice for women who want to enter the medical profession and offer a holistic approach to healthcare.
WATCH the Breakfast Panel Recording
Cristal Skaling-Klopstock, CEO Homeopathy UK
“As a CEO and mother, I think our ability to make real change may be outside the boardroom and in the home. I am the mother to two girls and I think the best way to break that bias is to ensure our daughters are not afraid to share their voice, be the star pupil, be a jock, be programming geek, be what they want to be, and have pride in what they do - most importantly expect equality in all aspects of their life.”
Full stop. #breakthebias
Dr Ilse Pedler, Vet & President of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS)
I started working in a very male dominated world but I never thought of it as a male job or a female job, it was just a job I loved and I did to the best of my ability and I found people
respected you for that.
Maya Angelou 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.'
Dr Patricia Ridsdale, Vice President, The Faculty of Homeopathy
Thanks to a forward-thinking medical education at Birmingham University in the 1980s and a relative who was helped by homeopathy when conventional medical care had no answers, I was able to develop an interest in complementary medicine. Encouragement from Dr Mollie Hunton, who supported me in a medical school project looking into why general practice patients used complementary medicine, and homeopathy in particular, was key to this. Mollie was the sort of GP that I aspired to be. Someone who knew and supported her patients as individuals, who taught joined up medicine, thinking about how and why we become ill. She modelled a style where all were equal and had equal right to thoughtful care and attention. This is the sort of thinking space I try to create now when I teach medical students- to consider the importance of the individual who has the illness in the context of the sort of illness that they have.
Since those early beginnings, I have benefitted from the encouragement and support of many other empowering women. I’m grateful to all of them. It’s important to have support from strong women early in a career and to then pay that forward by standing up for and supporting others, questioning and exploring where we perceive bias of any sort, from access to medical care to the limiting of the type of care.
Gill Graham, Features Editor, Simile
I am perhaps fortunate in that the only bias I have come across in my
homeopathic career has been of an intellectual nature, from people who have difficulty understanding or engaging in the discussion around homeopathic principles and philosophy, leading to a lack of awareness of how the homeopathic approach to healing differs from conventional medicine. I agree, it is very complex and above the understanding of many, who haven't studied the subject in depth. However, this is why I have been hugely motivated to divide my work between treating patients and the writing of articles to try to clarify the underlying tenets of homeopathic medicine, it’s successes in practice, and to highlight the research surrounding it.
So, I thank all those that have inspired me, including doctors like Dr Emily Stowe, (1831-1903) the first female Canadian doctor and homeopath and a leader of the suffrage movement at the time, who fought for her right to practice as a female. I am moved and resonate with her words: "The day will dawn when women will equal men not only in the medical profession, but in every other position in which she is qualified to excel."
Dr Helen Beaumont, Past President, The Faculty of Homeopathy
'Women In medicine today have been fortunate their battles for equality were fought many years ago. It has been a privilege and an honour to have been President and Dean of the Faculty of Homeopathy and to follow in the footsteps of Dr Margery Blackie who was president in 1949 and Dean in1965. What an achievement for a female doctor at that time.
I have always been able to follow my goals - my only encounter of blatant
sexism was when I went for an interview for a GP partnership and was asked if I could type. With a raised eyebrow I asked why, to get the reply from the senior partner that he thought it was such a useful skill for a woman and if I did I could do all the letters and we would not need a secretary!
In celebrating International Women's Day, we must champion women not only in the UK but around the world to be free to follow their dreams and aspirations without oppression.’
Karen Hooton, RSCN BSc (Hons) FFHom(Nurse)
"As a single parent, you become both parents to your child, you have to work twice as hard to make a decent wage, you go without things in order to provide the best life for them, it’s not an easy path to take. Yes, women can have it all (job, home, partner, children) but it still comes with the art of multitasking, caring duties and the kitchen sink! The flip side to my story is that if I wasn’t a single parent, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to do all the things that have led me to be the business woman, entrepreneur and therapist I am now. The journey has been one hell of a ride, a steep learning curve at times, but for all that life is for living and we do only get one chance at it, grab it while you can."
Deshini Newman, CEO, The Faculty of Homeopathy
I am South African, Indian heritage, British, a global citizen. I live in a picture book
English village, speak Greek, love vintage champagne and curry. My experiences with bias has been traumatic. But each time I am made to shrink I drink the grow potion. Kindness is the key to breaking the bias and creating a world we can all grow in and shine.
Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.
Dr Marliese Symons, First Ever MFHom(Chiro), The Faculty of Homeopathy
We can all challenge the attitudes and opinions of the men and women in our lives, towards a better reality for everyone, not just the few. There is no joy to be had from the
subjugation of others. As Humankind, ‘united we stand, divided we fall’.
‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.’ Malala Yousafzai
Dr Sujata Naik, First Ever Affiliate,MD (Hom) Member, The Faculty of Homeopathy
This International. Women's Day, the focus of gender equality, needs to highlight the
dilemma of the career woman. Whilst breaking the glass ceiling on every front, why should she need to be made to resign herself to choosing a career over her family or to compromise her work for the latter? If ably supported by her partner and society, a woman should be able have it all!
'Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the
challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.' Kofi Annan
Dr Sara Eames, Past President, The Faculty of Homeopathy
“I have had a fantastic career combining medicine with homeopathy. I first got interested in homeopathy when I was shocked by the piles of repeat prescription requests in general practice, and a few patients were telling me how much better they were with homeopathy. I never looked back and far from encountering prejudice, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to apply for nearly all the posts I have held. These were not only in clinical work, but a rich mixture of education, politics and media work too. The medical homeopathic world is very inclusive and I can't recommend it highly enough for practitioners and patients.”