top of page

Interviews With Black Women Health Leaders

In Celebration of Black History Month, EWIH presents four interviews with four incredible leaders that are pushing boundaries, breaking barriers, and inspiring the next generation - YOU - to create inclusive and representative environments in health leadership.

Many black women are in healthcare, but not enough are in leadership positions.

Black women continue to play a crucial role in our Canadian healthcare system. A 2016 Canada Statistics survey states that 33% of Black female workers were mostly concentrated in the health care and social assistance sector. That is 12% more than the employed female population.

A more recent 2020 survey suggests this number is still high today, with almost one-third (31.7%) of Black women employed in these sectors. Despite their incredible job helping communities, these healthcare workers are not being equitably reflected in senior and leadership positions within healthcare. Of the 19 board members of Canada’s Medical Association, there are currently 7 women, 0 of them being Black women. The most visible chief medical officers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada have been women. They have done an amazing job representing the importance of women in health leadership but... none of them are Black women.

In Canada, a lack of data undermines the true extent of underrepresentation that black females encounter in health leadership. This in turn translates in a lack of awareness & preparedness within the health community vis-a-vis black women’s health.

Without data, policy, and education surrounding black women’s particular health issues, we may end up hurting an important part of our community that we should be helping.

"It’s time for our system to change, and for Canadian health-care data and research to start reflecting the needs of the people who live here”
- Dr. Onye Nnorom, Family Doctor, Public Health & Preventive Medicine Specialist, and Black Health Theme Lead at the Faculty of Medicine’s MD Program.

Help us shine light to these disparities in the healthcare Industry and spreading awareness about female accomplishments! Start by listening to their stories: watch our interviews with powerful leaders below!

*Note: Sources: See sources and further readings page

Watch all our Past Project Videos on our Youtube!

EWIH International Women's Day Panel 2021

EWIH International Women's Day Panel 2021

What does it mean to be a "leader in health"? How can you break societal barriers and mobilize your own power? Why is equitable representation in health leadership so critical? The event includes discussions around these exciting topics. Keynote: A Primer for Students - Becoming and Being a Leader in Health Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell - PhD. Associate Vice-President Research, York University. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia. As a health scientist, her research is funded by all three federal research agencies and focuses on understanding the development of young children’s pain responses (biological and behavioural), in the context of their caregivers. Distinguished Panelists: Dr. Nadia Prendergast - RN, PhD. Assistant Professor in York University's Faculty of Health, School of Nursing. She completed her master’s and PhD degrees in Education and Women’s Studies from the University of Toronto, where her area of research focused on the experiences of internationally educated nurses of colour working within Canada’s multiculturalism practices. Dr. Prendergast's areas of interests reside in primary health care, community development, women’s health and equity studies. Dr. Farah Ahmad - MBBS, MPH, PhD. Associate Professor in York University's Faculty of Health - School of Health Policy & Management. After completing a Bachelors in Medicine, she went on to get a Masters in International Health from Harvard University and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Toronto. Dr. Farah Ahmad is a health service researcher with a focus on primary care settings, psychosocial health, vulnerable communities and eHealth innovations. Dr. Ruth Rodney - RN, PhD. Assistant Professor in York University's Faculty of Health, School of Nursing. She completed her Masters in Global Health Management at McMaster University, and her PhD degree in Nursing and Global Health as part of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Collaborative doctoral program from the University of Toronto. Her focus is on on understanding health through social, political, economic, and historical realms, with the desire to eliminate health disparities caused by various forms of discrimination. This event is brought to you by Empowering Women In Health (@empoweringwomeninhealth), a grassroots organization funded by York University, and York International's Global Peer program. LINKS - For our website: - For our Women's Historical Health Timeline: Intro Video Song Creds.: Artist: C Cane. Key Note Speaker: Janet Taras. Music Producer: Prodbyk4cie. Creative Direction: Hue Agency.

Our Image Gallery for this Project!

bottom of page