Message from the Chair–April 2022

I write this as I sit by my sunny window, enjoying signs of spring coming forth: warmer temperatures, my garden greening up, a robin hopping by, but mostly, being able to sit outside and enjoy visiting with people again.

It’s been about a year since I took over as Chair of the AOMBT from retiring Trustee, Kelly Gascoigne. The new Trustee “year” begins in April when the election cycle is complete. Some Trustees are newly elected, some return after being re-elected, and some leave their role, including Trustees Ashley Lickers and Jane Erdman.

I’d like to take a minute to recognize Ashley. She brought a nuanced perspective as our first Indigenous Trustee. She generously shared aspects of her life and culture, as well as bringing her thoughtful approach to numerous issues and decisions that came up during her tenure. She will be sorely missed, and we’d like to thank her and wish her the best as she goes on to new interests and ventures.

We’d also like to bid farewell to Jane Erdman, who will also be completing her term as a Trustee. Jane served the AOM, CAM and the AOMBT for many years. She had a special skill for finding and encouraging leadership in a variety of new and younger midwives, as well as students, mentoring them into strong leaders. Thank you, Jane, for your dedication to midwifery and its leadership, for all the many roles you have played.

Join us in welcoming two new Trustees, Jamiena Shah and Iuliana David. One of the fun parts of being the AOMBT Chair is welcoming new people and to take part in the orientation to their new roles. A huge thanks goes out to all who participated in the election process.

This month, Equal Pay Day is on April 12. It is a day to highlight the gender pay gap, symbolizing how far into the year an average woman must work in order to have earned what the average man earned in the previous year. As midwives, we have been underpaid for so long, and we want to recognize all efforts to remedy this disparity and to celebrate the work that has been done thus far. That includes being a part the HRTO settlement and distribution for those who have taken parental leaves during those years.

There remains much work to be done to make parental leave more equitable for midwives. The AOMBT has been working to provide the AOM with ideas for changes that can be taken to the negotiations table.

As we move forward, we will include a plan to make changes in our committee work and include members who are not Trustees in that conversation. If you have ever considered leadership opportunities but want to “dip a toe in the waters” first, volunteering for a committee is a wonderful first step.

Wishing you a wonderful start to spring,

Madeleine