Women in Athletic Training acknowledges women and men are not the same; however, that does not mean one is less than the other. Come celebrate with this awesome group as they are growing healthy relationships to grow our profession.
What’s new with WAT?
- Since the last time we were on the SMB a ton has happened – specifically in the area of intentionality and forward direction.
- We launched our re-brand of WAT 2.0 on 1/1/2020 and that for us signified a HUGE shift both in who we were and where we were going. We started the process in September of 2019 and used the last 4 months of 2019 really collaborating and digging deep into who we (the revitalized WAT board) wanted to be and where we wanted to take WAT.
- That leads us to the creation of a formal mission, vision, and our credo that WAT is more than AVERAGE (insert visuals here) standing for authenticity, virtue, empowerment, respect, advocacy, growth, and elevATion.
- We moved what was a place for all women AT to just come and ‘be’ to a true resource. A safe space for the women in this profession to empower one another.
- It was through this re-launch that we saw a huge shift in the way our membership interacted with the group – in a hugely positive way. We also were sure to come into the process using the evidence-based models and surveys out then 7800 members. This year when we started 2021 we did the same thing to evaluate our model.
- We are super proud that we just hit 9000 members, have 9 board members, we were the 1st group to offer a virtual interview of the then-candidates for NATA presidency, have hosted multiple call-in sessions for professional development around covid, interviews with NATA LGBTQ, EDAC, and more.
What are y’all working on now?
- At the end of each year, we put out a survey for our members to complete for the Women in AT board to review and re-assess the needs of what our members are wanting from us. We all completed passion roadmaps which is a resource that we utilize from Passion Planner (Megan loves Passion Planner) that allows us to each individually brainstorm the goals that we foresee for WAT over a time period of 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, and a lifetime.
- We work together to review the survey answers to plan and create a quarterly outline for Women in AT to help us take small steps to reaching our larger goals for WAT while also catering to the needs that our members requested of us.
- This past year the survey revealed that the top two needs that the members would like for us to provide are networking opportunities and educational content. This is something we are working hard to provide for our members.
- This month as NATM’s theme is AT’s are Healthcare, we want to shed more light on the emerging settings of athletic training. This month will include some roundtable discussions from multiple settings, some social opportunities, and an interview with a professor who teaches negotiation tactics. We are all very passionate about athletic training and the future for WAT, and are excited to see how it all evolves.
What are two key issues y’all are working to improve for women in athletic training?
Showing up for each other in an authentic, empowering way. For too long women in this profession (and in general) are forced into competitive environments that pit one against another. We aim to change that. We should be building each other up, and working together as athletic training professionals. Empowering each other forward. Not holding each other back.
What is the vision for the next 5-10 years?
To infinity and beyond 🙂 no but in all seriousness, we have big dreams and no intention of slowing down. We want to be in the room where it happens – since women belong there – as RBG so eloquently reminded us all. We strive to be a national presence. Some of the things we have on our roadmaps are Women in AT Panels at the various different conferences; being a CEU provider – and ultimately even a WAT conference; educational content that invigorates our members and challenges their daily practices in an empowering way. To us the phrase ‘empowering women empower women’ is highest goal. If we aren't meeting that – if we aren't finding ways to continuously empower and enrich or members then we aren’t meeting our mission.
Has COVID changed anything for women in AT vs men?
COVID has impacted athletic trainers in very intense and unique ways, most often adding even more work to an already overloaded schedule. This has only compounded the discrepancies between the genders in our profession. When athletics were suspended the workload at home was still expected to happen – and any form of work-life separation went out the window. Once everybody went back to work, many female athletic trainers found themselves having to miss work if kids’ daycares or classes got put in quarantine. For those that were furloughed all of the PTO previously banked for things like maternity leave, or parent life, etc those were eliminated. This carried over into our need to go to work, but our fear of bringing the virus home with us, when many of us remained the primary caregiver at home. Women in athletic training give their all to the safety of their athletes, and that intensified our work and preparation last summer, as we discussed COVID policies in our respective settings, and it intensified our stress and worry every day that we went to work.
Maternity leave vs no accrued PTO after furlough.
Megan – single female, when others have to go home to quarantine/take care of a child that has had school/daycare shut down then the single AT’s within the ATF have to help with coverage
How have you been able to help encourage equality through WAT?
WAT’s main purpose and reason for existing are to build each other up, to give each other support and a cheering section and a shoulder to cry on. In a (formerly) male-dominated profession, where many of us work alone, we need all of those things more than most jobs, because all athletic trainers feel beat down, and all of us need a listening ear. The push for equality comes from the support and the advocacy that we give each other in a profession that still isn’t equal for us. We are all part of a 9000-person team, with all the support, brains to pick, and camaraderie that a lot of us are missing at our jobs.
Call to action:
International Women’s day is March 8, 2021
Megan Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Lowe – email@example.com
Maren Carroll – firstname.lastname@example.org
Women in AT – email@example.com
Jeremy – @MrJeremyJackson on Twitter
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