Q&A with Schola Matovu, Assistant Professor, University of Utah College of Nursing

We spoke with Schola Matovu, Assistant Professor, University of Utah College of Nursing, and one of the members of our 2021 U.S. Leadership Journey. Read our Q&A to learn about what has surprised her about the Journey and who is inspiring her.

Why did you choose to apply for the WomenLift Leadership Journey?  

I chose to apply for the WomenLift Leadership Journey in order to be mentored by an interdisciplinary team of expert coaches and facilitators and to network with a diverse cohort of women leaders who share similar interests in leading health initiatives within the global community.

What has been a highlight of your Journey experience so far?  

The highlight of my Journey experience so far is the amount of growth that I have achieved in terms of broadening my global mindset and gaining courage and confidence to lead with authenticity.

What is your Leadership Journey Project and why did you choose it?             

My Leadership Journey Project pertains to planning, designing and implementing a leadership and professional development training program intended to empower nurses, especially those in under-resourced settings, with skills and knowledge on how to navigate occupational barriers and advocate for themselves and the marginalized patient populations who they care for.

What has surprised you about the WomenLift Health Leadership Journey experience? 

I have been pleasantly surprised by the program’s facilitators, coaches, and mentors’ commitment to creating a safe space in which the women leaders in my cohort can share, grow and learn from each other.

How can we ensure that we are centering women and girls in health? 

By rigorously implementing policies that ensure that women and girls are empowered with equal opportunities for education, employment, representation, leadership and social protection of their rights.

Who inspires you?  

My first nurse hero was my grandmother who was an informal nurse and caregiver to many in my small village in Uganda. I am also inspired by the unsung heroes who paved the way for me to enjoy a profession that I love and whose nursing leadership exemplifies social justice fundamentals inherent to advocacy and activism. Such nurses include Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926), the first African American nurse who worked tirelessly to eliminate racial discrimination in the nursing profession. But I am also inspired by other women leaders, such as President Ellen Sirleaf, the first elected female president of an African nation (Liberia), who said that ‘if your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’ It is on the shoulders of such strong women leaders that I stand!



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