When the TIME’S UP movement emerged from the entertainment industry in 2018, many took notice—especially those in healthcare. The theme of the organization focuses on ending gender disparities and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Leaders from within the healthcare industry, along with technology and advertising experts, soon realized their fields needed a voice, too. Now, TIME’S UP Healthcare, one affiliate of the TIME’S UP organization, serves a mission that creates dialogue around safe, fair and dignified workplaces with a focus on issues and solutions specific to healthcare—and that conversation is coming to the University of Minnesota Medical School.

“This is an opportunity to be ahead of the game and to be engaging with national leaders on this topic,” said Kait Macheledt, project specialist for the Medical School’s Center for Women in Medicine & Science (CWIMS). “By hosting this discussion, we’re positioning the University and the medical community to work together in a new way that creates unified and collaborative approaches in creating safe and equitable environments. We’re preventing our system from falling short.”

Falling short has been the trend in workplaces across the country. According to the TIME’S UP Healthcare website, women make up more than 80% of the healthcare workforce, yet the key decision-makers, including hospital executives and association presidents, are still largely men. 

These data points will be part of the conversation led by Esther Choo, MD, MPH, who is a founder of the TIME’S UP Healthcare organization, when she speaks Nov. 7 at Coffman Memorial Union. Dr. Choo practices emergency medicine and teaches at Oregon Health & Science University, but her presentation is not just relevant to physicians within academic medicine. Led by CWIMS, the event encourages all administration, faculty, staff, students, practicing clinicians and nurses, alumni and community members to attend.

“In order to tackle the larger issue, we need everyone’s voice in on the conversation,” Macheledt said. “We will host M Health Fairview, Hennepin Healthcare and others from the local medical community. Leaders from The President’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct will be there, as well as representatives from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. We will be talking about what we’re already doing, and how we can position it to do better because we’re doing good, but how do we make sure we continue with that momentum?”

Dr. Choo, who has collaborated with Yale, University of California Davis and other institutions on this topic, will start with a presentation before transitioning into a moderated panel made up of health services research experts, University leadership and clinicians. Every idea discussed at the event will be used to develop new strategies moving forward.

“Our local medical community is in the ideal position to engage in this discussion collaboratively,” said Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE, who is the CWIMS director. “We are not convening this event in response to a specific event; we are coming together in an effort to collaboratively align our practice in the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace to ensure safe and respectful learning/working environments.”

Registration is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at Coffman Memorial Union. To register, click here.