JAN 2012

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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22 EW NEWS & OPINION January 2012 OWL leadership promises more programs, networking by Michelle Dalton EyeWorld Contributing Editor I Jan Beiting Marsha Link, Ph.D. Building on the group's relationship with other organizations is a key goal ncreasing the number of edu- cational programs, symposia, and online programs as well as having more women present at various ophthalmology meet- ings are but two of the goals Jan Beiting, principal of Wordsmith Consulting (Cary, N.C.), has for the Ophthalmic Women Leaders (OWL, www.owlsite.org) in the next year. Ms. Beiting, the group's current pres- ident, is also one of its cofounders. "When we first started OWL 8 years ago, there was a tremendous amount of excitement about the concept. We had about 150 people at that first event; the response then indicated there was a need for OWL," she said. In those 8 years, Ms. Beiting said she's been most impressed with OWL's ability to interest women in all stages of their careers and from all aspects of ophthalmology, from marketing to research and bench sci- entists, to clinicians and industry. "We have everyone from CEOs to those just starting in their career, and that gives us an incredible op- portunity to help foster connections among those diverse groups of peo- ple," she said. Marsha Link, Ph.D., founder of Link Consulting (Irvine, Calif.), has focused her attention on developing OWL's mentoring and coaching pro- gram, which she expects to continue and expand in her current role and by writing the "Woman to Woman" column in OWL's monthly newslet- ter. As OWL's current vice presi- dent/president-elect, she wants to identify those leadership qualities that are not gender specific and in- crease women's visibility and leader- ship within the ophthalmic space. "We need to continue promot- ing women so they think of them- selves as leaders," Dr. Link said. "All of us need to focus on what makes an outstanding leader. I think OWL can give women that inspiration and challenge." As an example, OWL launched the Executive Roundtable program last year "to foster frank conversa- tion on high-level topics," the web- site noted. "The Roundtable has been fan- tastic," Ms. Beiting said. "There are businesses that are getting funded and start-ups created as a result of it. It's a high power group of women who get together twice a year to talk about opportunities and chal- lenges." The year ahead Building on the success of the group's educational symposia is cru- cial, both women said. OWL plans to continue partnering with Women in Ophthalmology (WIO), a group mostly comprised of ophthalmolo- gists and residents-in-training, to present the WIO's summer sympo- sium. "Organizations like OWL and WIO can play a role in ensuring the changing face of ophthalmology is reflected in the board room and the research bench, the podium, and the

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