Diversity through evolution – by 2021

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The AMA WA is a fabulous asset – financially and politically, that should be leveraged for ALL members, and we are a diverse bunch.

Why evolution? Because revolution comes with great risk, and status quo is certain death for a membership organisation. We need to bring all members on the journey and go forward relentlessly.

Diversity is a drum that I have been banging loudly from my before my first days as President in 2016. This is no radical political correctness, it is just fairness that says that ALL members are equal, so all members should have the same influence and benefits. Once we are truly diverse, membership will increase as people feel more welcome in the AMA family.

In 2019 the Federal AMA Equity Inclusion and Diversity Committee on which I sit has put forward a proposal, for 40% female, 40% male, 20% flexible gender diversity on all committees by 2021. It is now approved by the Federal Council of AMA and that is a target that I would also bring to AMA WA Council.

The best way to achieve it is to approach and sponsor and encourage women to be involved, and I have been successful already to some degree which will lead to a flood of more women as the AMA WA demonstrates it is forward thinking and their views are welcome.

I have heard all the arguments and seen all the initiatives, and am a firm believer that we must now just get results, turn the tide, whatever the mechanism. It is only through diverse voices that we will have the best policies and engage those who are non members to support those things we all agree on.

Diversity is not just about gender, it is also about culture, background, sexual preference, location of practice and type of practice and many other factors. The Dunning Kruger effect means we all think we understand the challenges facing others, but I have always found that the more I know about someone’s situation the more I realise my old assumptions were wrong. Thus ideally all doctors should speak for themselves and decide for themselves in matters concerning them and their own practice. With modern technology and better diversity we can make it happen soon through evolution.

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