Misty Hathaway, Sr. Director for International and Specialized Healthcare Services, and Chief Marketing Officer talks about why Women’s History Month is important to her.

Describe your journey into health care. What do you love about science and medicine? 

My academic background in international policy took me into health care, by chance, and I’ve had the privilege of working for some of the finest health care organizations in the world. I love being surrounded by brilliant people who have committed their lives’ work to helping and healing others. I really enjoy the constant learning – medicine and health care are fascinating, and as an administrator, it is phenomenally stimulating to be part of it. 

What is special about Mass General?   

The energy and innovation here are palpable. The culture of passion and commitment is fueled by a truly remarkable gathering of some of the brightest minds in science and medicine. People here inspire one another to be better, and together, undaunted, they tackle some of the biggest challenges in health care. 

What do you like most about your job? 

My exceptional teams and colleagues who over and over again go the extra mile to help others.  The magical combination of their dedication, brilliance and commitment to one another and our patients makes my job great.

What contributions have women made in the field of medicine that have influenced your role or specialty? 

Outstanding female leaders have modeled for me a combination of strength, intelligence, clear-thinking and drive – combined with an ability to bring people together and get things done.  Great female leaders know how to take big ideas and respectfully apply the people skills required to make them happen. In general, I think they also model balance – they figure out how to be efficient with their time, still take care of themselves (and perhaps their families as well), and get a whole lot done.

Have you encountered any challenges on your journey as a woman, and if so, how did you overcome them? 

The biases I’ve experienced have tended to be subtle instead of overt. Most of our professional environments continue to be dominated by mostly Caucasian men, and human nature is such that it’s easier to connect with someone who is like us in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc., rather than different.  As a result, women continue to experience subtle – or overt – exclusions.  I try to be a strong supporter to women whom I coach and mentor, as well as push myself to lead more boldly and connect more assertively with the men in power. It takes extra effort on all sides.  

How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences? 

Show them the excitement. Stimulate them with the wonders of what we do. Model respect, excitement and fun.  At Mass General, I have interacted with some of the brightest women I have ever met, hailing from all around the world. Great and exciting work attracts great and exciting girls and women.