“Being a strong woman means that I have the means to take care of myself and the people who are closest to me.”

Name: Dr. Leslie
Age: 63
Race/Ethnicity: White
Career/Profession: Nursing professor/Writer

1. Have you ever been told anything you don’t think a man would ever be told?

Early in my career when I would make suggestions for patient care or question a Dr’s order, I would be asked by a male doctor, “Where did YOU go to med school?” I don’t believe a male nurse would be questioned in that way. I learned to answer “I went to med school RIGHT here”.

2. Has anything changed about your idea of what it means to be a woman since you were a teenager? In your 20s?

When I was in my teens and 20s the Women’s Movement led us to believe women would be treated like equals. I think there’s been a lot of improvements since then, but I don’t think we’ve achieved gender equality.

3. What’s the most frustrating thing about being a woman today?

The most frustrating thing about being a woman today is that we have not accomplished gender equality in 50 years since the feminist movement began.

4. Have you faced any personal or professional struggles because you are a woman?

As a woman,I accepted the majority of the responsibility for my children when their father & I divorced. We shared joint custody, but it fell to me to make sure they completed their education, participated in sports and social activities, engaged in counseling after the divorce, received medical & dental care, had clothing, balanced diets, and the equipment to enjoy their creative pursuits, and were safe. He took care of their orthodontia.

5. What/who/which events have inspired you to become the person you are today?

My mother first suggested that I become a nurse. We were out for lunch one day when I was 16, and she said: “You’re always talking about doing something to help people. Who helps people more than nurses do?”

6. Have you ever had any moments of self-doubt?

I have moments of self-doubt every day. I question whether I can be doing anything better, differently, or can achieve a better outcome. Less as I get older, & i believe I’ve accomplished a great deal in my life.

7. When did you start to feel comfortable in your own skin?

I’ve always been comfortable in my own mind and soul.


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