We all know it: women can do anything. They can be teachers, lawyers, doctors, and even surgeons. The April 3 edition of the New Yorker magazine featured a cover illustration by French artist Malika Favre, depicting four female surgeons looking down at an operating table. The drawing inspired women surgeons everywhere to recreate the image, to prove to men and women alike that girls can do anything, and be anything, that they set their minds to.
The empowering image was noticed by Susan Pitt, who specializes in endocrine surgery at the University of Wisconsin.
"The New Yorker issue came out right before I went to our annual American Association of Endocrine Surgeons meeting," Pitt told BuzzFeed News.
"The instant I saw it I thought about how cool it would be to replicate in real life." Pitt gathered a group of women at the Orlando conference and they replicated the photo.
Pitt then tweeted out the photo and challenged other surgeons worldwide to do the same.
Well well well, if it isn't the day after #equalpayday and four fantastic female surgeons are in the #operatingroom. We are dedicated to helping save lives and improving the #pelvichealth of women. The brilliant @newyorkermag cover by @malikafavre gave us the idea to show the world that #genderpaygap is not acceptable and we will continue to voice our support to improve wages for women! 💪🏼💪🏽💪🏻💪🏾so even though #EqualPayDay might be over, continue to speak up on #GenderPayGap which continues to hold working women back. #womensurgeons #womeninmedicine #genderequality #genderpaygap #ilooklikeasurgeon #womensmarch #womenempowerment #womenshealth #gynecology #gynecologyoncology #pelviccancer #cervicalcancer #laparoscopicsurgery #pelvicmafia #pelvichealth #jessicashepherdmd #nyerorcoverchallenge
@susieQP8 @drkarenhorton @NewYorker @KickAsana @utswhpb @LoggheMD @heenastat @DrSabha @gianamontana @nganttmd @KPobgyndoc @DrKathyHughes @pferrada1 @drheatherfurnas @JFreischlag @Lady_Surgeon @scrubbedin Thanks for the challenge! pic.twitter.com/c7dj38vseJ— Heather Yeo MD (@heatheryeomd) April 6, 2017
Pitt says that it gives her chills every time that she sees another group of women recreate the photo.
"I hope to open people's eyes and minds that women can be surgeons and anything else they want to be," she said. "That there is no such thing as a 'a man's world'."
Pitt is also passionate about pay equality.
"Women deserve and should be paid the same amount for the same job. On the whole, we are all equal and worth the same."
"In surgery, there's been a strong movement in the past couple of years towards equality. In the context of our field, the timing of the Malika Favre cover was perfect for women to rally around."
"It's meant to be inclusive and not just about women surgeons," Pitt added.
"I think we're just a symbol of a greater problem. A lot of people who have responded have mentioned that they want to show the pictures to their daughters so they will learn that they can be anything."