Reflections on leadership and opportunity at Cumberland Hospital’s International Women’s Day event

In honour of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is holding facility events across the district that #InspireInclusion.

On Thursday, the Cumberland Hospital community came together over a morning tea to listen to uplifting journeys of leadership shared by Juanita Taylor, Director of Nursing Mental Health and Dr Sara Ghaly, Acting Director Mental Health.

Juanita is the first in her family to receive a formal university education. She spoke about her journey to eventually becoming Director of Nursing Mental Health, highlighting the importance of saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity.

Juanita laughed along with the audience while passionately discussing the power of defiance, and willed women to remain self-assured. Emphasising the importance of fighting against the standard and striving to support one another by celebrating successes, she encouraged attendees to continue to fight for the financial equality that women deserve.

“As a woman in nursing leadership, I have taken up every opportunity that is offered to me,” she said.

“I often reflect on my leadership journey with the notion that the only answer should be ‘yes’ – how you make the ‘yes’ happen is then up to you. 

The glass is never half empty; it is always half full. It’s our choice as to how we strive to continue to fill our glass.

Juanita Taylor

Dr Sara Ghaly, Acting Director of Clinical Services Mental Health, reflected on her journey as a second generation Australian of migrant parentage, and paid tribute to the role models within her life, encouraging women to dream big and aspire to be leaders in their field of choice.

“Our role, as women in society is beyond being a partner, a mother, a sibling, an aunt; but a member of the workforce and instruments of change,” she said.

Dr Ghaly shared her uplifting journey through the FLASH leadership program, reminding women that they deserve a seat at the table.

The FLASH Leadership that I now strongly promote made me recognise the reason I was here was not by chance, but as an opportunity that gave me confidence. It quietened that voice saying you don’t deserve to sit at this table with the big wigs.

Dr Sara Ghaly

These incredible women shared their independent journeys with one uniting theme; we can forge a future where women are empowered to find their voice and take opportunities, creating a more inclusive world.

“I appeal to every woman in this room – irrespective of your stage of life, there are opportunities for growth and leadership.

“As women we reach out and pull each other up, not drag down or feel the need to compete for those limited spaces at the table. We build capacity in each other so there are more seats at the table for us all.