Steph Cowan

TAAS Doctor

I always wanted to be a doctor. It’s something that I started thinking about when I was probably around 10-years old, and my daughter is now talking about the same thing.

When I applied to be a critical care doctor, the training programme is naturally quite robust and the competition to do this job is very high, and I think as a working mum, that adds another layer of pressure and complexity to those applications. A lot of us as trainees back in the day would be expected to go and work hours away from home, and as a working mum, that just wasn’t going to fit with the family at all. So, I had to work very hard to make sure that I got my first-choice job, which was here in Coventry, and to make sure that was close to the family – to maintain that the balance between being there for my children and then also being a good and dedicated doctor for The Air Ambulance Service.

This International Women’s Day’s theme is ‘inspire inclusion,’ and we talk about inclusion and diversity a lot currently which is really good, and I think for me, it’s making sure that they’re not just buzzwords and it’s about recognising that inclusion and diversity are actually our greatest strengths that we have as an organisation. I know I am very fortunate to be here, to be able to balance my family commitments and my dedication to the service. But if people couldn’t recognise what I can offer whilst working part time then I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in. So, it’s about recognising the contribution that we can all make, even though maybe perhaps we don’t all fit the same model that we’re expected to.

One thing I’d say to the next generation of women, is to follow your dreams. I’m lucky that I’m living mine, and I’m lucky enough to know that my children are well cared for and I’ve done a good job of raising them at the same time.

So, it’s absolutely 100% doable, follow your dreams, follow your passion, and work hard, because it’s getting easier. It shouldn’t be as tough as it is, but it’s getting easier with every year passing and campaigns like this are making things better. So absolutely speak to the women that have come before you.