This week one of the best-known business magazines in the United States included me in their list of the ten most influential women in the health and medicine sector. I am honoured that they have chosen my interview to be featured on the cover of their magazine.
Here is a summary of this and other interviews where I have been asked about my personal and professional experience in overcoming the obstacles that many women still face when we decide to fight for our dreams.
We are featuring women who have inspired others to achieve their best. We want to highlight those who are leading change and making a difference during these times. What is your main motivation?
The entire team at Institut Marquès is driven by a single purpose: to help families with fertility issues to achieve their dream of becoming parents. For me, motherhood is a right, not a duty, and I am proud to help women who decide when, how and with whom they want to have their child.
What were the main challenges you had to overcome in your profession and field?
Men with a title or a position are taken for granted; women have to prove they are worth it. For many years I was the only woman in charge of an fertility clinic; at congresses I was asked who I had left my children with, and I answered with the same question.
What do you think about the current women’s empowerment movement?
I think that, unfortunately, it is still very necessary to continue to fight individually and collectively for equality, respect and recognition. For many men it is comfortable for women to do the housework and this is an important part of the reluctance to change.
What do you think should be improved in our current society on a political and economic level to make it more equal?
I think that advanced societies like ours will become more and more egalitarian. Before, a woman could choose whether she wanted to work, now she can’t. She knows she needs financial independence because a husband may not be around forever and because it often takes two salaries to pay the rent. We have to fight against the cultural environment of traditions oriented towards a woman’s priority to be a daughter, wife and mother, and to work outside the home during her spare time. This is putting ourselves at a disadvantage.
What advice would you like to give in the area of work-life balance?
All four pillars can be taken care of: family, friends, work and personal growth. They are all important, solet’s not forget any of them. The important thing is to set goals and not get sidetracked by what others think, because in many situations, they can make you feel that you are working because you are selfish, that you put your dreams and decisions before your family. We have to re-evaluate everything for ourselves, and this requires discipline and courage.
On a practical level, I will focus on my experience as a gynaecologist: you have to decide whether you want full maternity leave, whether you want to breastfeed or not, whether you want reduced working hours after having children, whether you should always be the one called in when they get sick at the nursery. And a lot of other things.
I am horrified by people who believe that pregnant women are weak beings who should be protected or removed from work. I believe that the life we carry inside us gives us a supernatural strength that we should know how to use. We should use this power to fight, more than ever, for what we want for ourselves and for what we want our child to see in us. Both in the short and long term.