For its inaugural list, Crain’s New York Business selected 62 honorees—women executives working in human resources, talent retention and acquisition, and diversity and inclusion—to celebrate them for their varied achievements.
“I’m very flattered and honored to have been selected for this inaugural list,” said Dr. Simmons, who is also the Anne K. and Edwin C. Weiskopf Professor of Surgical Oncology and a professor surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine, and a breast surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Simmons has advanced diversity efforts at Weill Cornell Medicine since 2009 and currently serves as the inaugural director of the Office of Women at Weill Cornell Medicine and co-chair of Women Physicians of NewYork-Presbyterian. Among her achievements, she helped to develop a paid parental leave policy and establish childcare facilities that are open to Weill Cornell Medicine’s students, faculty and staff.
“What I find most interesting is looking at women’s leadership and equity in the science field,” Dr. Simmons said. Most recently, she developed a report for the institution’s leadership that analyzed four women’s initiative areas at Weill Cornell: promotions, job satisfaction, leadership, and salary and compensation equity.
“Academic medicine has historically struggled with ensuring gender equity, and we are working urgently address this,” said Dr. Simmons. “So by gaining a baseline at Weill Cornell Medicine, we’ll know where to direct our efforts.”
In addition to leadership and clinical responsibilities, Dr. Simmons is expected to complete in May a joint Master in Business Administration from Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and a Master in Healthcare Leadership from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She said the knowledge she has gained from these programs about the business of healthcare will provide her with important new perspectives that can inform her work.
“I want to do whatever I can to make sure women physicians reach their full potential,” Dr. Simmons said. “I hope this honor helps put a spotlight on women’s equity in academic medicine.”