IMSH 2022 Keynote Presentation - Yassmin Abdel-Magied, “Transformative Leadership”

By: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

I had the pleasure of attending the IMSH 2022 Keynote Presentation from Yassmin Abdel-Magied, speaking about “Transformative Leadership.” Yassmin is a Sudanese-Australian writer, broadcaster, and award-winning social advocate with a background in mechanical engineering. Yassmin is a globally sought-after advisor on issues of social justice, focused on the intersections of race, gender and faith. What struck me most about her was her sense of humor, her completely approachable style and her clever use of “costume changes” as a way to challenge assumptions based on appearance. She characterized confirmation bias and group think as “sneaky little buggers,” sharing her experience of being the only woman working on an oil rig. She outlined methods of marginalization; when difference is amplified, we impose stereotypical expectations, and the individual is tuned out. She advocates for the use of standardized decision-making tools to overcome unconscious bias and a focus on patient-centered communication to see people as individuals and not a member of a group. She encourages us to lean into our discomfort to make real, structural change.

Read more about Yassmin’s inspiring work here.

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