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International Women's Day 2021: Challenges Inspiring Change
V. Smith Challenge Photo blog

Remarkable, trailblazers, creative, inspiring, leaders, influential – these are just a few words to describe women worldwide. We are tech-savvy, we are authors, we are athletes, we are doctors, we are educators, we are mothers, we are friends and we are... women! Along with these titles comes the tremendous responsibility to continually raise the bar for the next generation of women. After all, women are known for overcoming adversity and continually going above and beyond. Let’s raise the bar high enough to remove barriers and create a pathway for other women to shine and display their talent. This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #ChooseToChallenge, calls upon us to accept the call to action of lifting each other as women and create a more inclusive world.

As a female cancer registry professional, I’m happy to make my mark in our industry and continue to advocate for equity and inclusivity in our profession. The cancer registry does so much important work in regards to cancer patient care – it’s important that women have their seat at the table because these are issues that affect them as well. I was drawn to this field due to a family history of cancer. I watched several women in my family battle cancer with strength and dignity. This is where I get my passion and motivation to create change. I accepted the call to action to raise awareness and advance research to improve cancer patients' lives. The women in my family who battled cancer are my role models and I am honored to carry on their legacy of elevating women, removing barriers, closing the equity gap and empowering cancer patients. I am also honored to work alongside one of the most inspiring women I know, our vice president Karen Schmidt, who has done great work as an organizational leader, a certified tumor registrar (CTR), and a patient advocate during her cancer battle.

International Women day karen min
Karen Schmidt taking part in the #ChooseToChallenge image campaign!

My advice to other women is not to allow others to set expectations and standards for you and tell you how to act or when to speak or not to speak. You set the standard for yourself and require others to have to come up to your level – nobody else dictates your personal criteria. We might have different interests and backgrounds, but something magical happens and glass ceilings are shattered when we join together. Let’s show that type of solidarity for one another. Let’s treat each other with respect, celebrate our differences and lift each other up. It’s a small gesture, but we all have the power to do it, and we can unite this world by taking this step. By doing this, we create change, combat bias and set a pathway for equality. In honor of International Women’s Day’s “#ChooseToChallenge,” I invite you to stand with me in this challenge to celebrate women across the world!

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About the Author

Vontyna Smith, MPA

Vontyna Smith

15+ Years of Healthcare Experience

ASK ME ABOUTCancer Registry Operations, Clinical Research, CoC Accreditation



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