Proudly launching the Women’s Chiropractic Caucus

Date:  March 4, 2024


Dr. Kathryn Vardy (Newfoundland) and Dr. Natalie Carrington

The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) is proud to announce the launch of the Women’s Chiropractic Caucus (WCC).

Led and co-chaired by Dr. Kathryn Vardy (Newfoundland) and Dr. Natalie Carrington (Alberta), this initiative marks a significant step in fostering a supportive environment for women chiropractors to thrive in their careers across Canada, while also amplifying their voices and contributions within the field. The WCC will also advocate on behalf of women’s unique neuromusculoskeletal (NMSK) health issues to improve access to chiropractic care for females in Canada.  

“The WCC represents a significant milestone in the CCA’s ongoing commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the chiropractic profession. By initiating this caucus, we acknowledge there is room for the profession to grow by providing a platform for women chiropractors to connect, collaborate, and advocate for change,” said CCA CEO, Dr. Ayla Azad.

Dr. Carrington has been serving the Diamond Valley communities in Alberta for 30 years and is the Past Board Chair of the Chiropractic Association of Alberta. Dr. Vardy is the co-founder of the Kinetic Chiropractic and Health Clinic in Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador. Both will also be on a Women’s Caucus panel at the CCA’s National Convention and Tradeshow in April (get your tickets here!).

Objectives of the Women’s Chiropractic Caucus:   

To provide women chiropractors access to relevant information and mentorship from diverse chiropractic practices, research centres and geographic regions across Canada.   

To foster meaningful dialogue between mentors and mentees, while affording the opportunity to gain valuable guidance and career advice including balancing competing demands of family and business.  

Being champions of improved access to chiropractic care to address female’s unique neuromusculoskeletal health issues for females throughout their lifecycle.

“It has been an honour to be a co-chair and launch the CCA’s Women’s Chiropractic Caucus. This caucus is not just about creating a space for networking and support; it’s about dismantling barriers, challenging stereotypes, and driving real change within our profession across Canada. By coming together, we can advocate for policies that promote gender equality, provide mentorship opportunities to support career advancement, and ultimately create a more inclusive and equitable profession for all,” shared Dr. Carrington.

In recent years, the Canadian Chiropractic Research Database (an in-depth survey of the chiropractors in the CCA) has shown a remarkable increase in the number of women entering and excelling in the profession. The 2022 total base size of Canadian chiropractors was composed of 55 per cent men and 45 per cent women – a significant change from the 63 per cent male and 37 per cent female respondent base in 2016.  Despite this progress, women chiropractors continue to face unique challenges and barriers to advancement. This caucus serves as a platform for women chiropractors to collaborate and empower one another, to help create and foster a more inclusive and equitable profession.

The need for the WCC is also emphasized by the lack of NMSK research focusing on female physiology.

“When it comes to healthcare research, we have to remember female anatomy and physiology is different than that of a male; but often treatment plans are created through this kind of lens due to the lack of research that is dedicated to female physiology,” shares co-chair Dr. Vardy. “For example, the female body experiences hormonal fluctuations through one’s life, whether that is during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. Any of these single stages may result in critical changes in one’s body. Bone health, especially after menopause is also a health concern that significantly impacts a woman as she ages.”

When it comes to neuromusculoskeletal health, the list of different needs between males and females from a physiological and social perspective continues, explains Dr. Vardy. For example, it can become even more difficult to navigate NMSK healthcare when the condition is also layered with other personal situations such as increased mental load, balancing work/home life, as well as societal pressures.

“Change the conversation” and “Support our members” are two of four objectives in the CCA’s current strategic plan. The launch of the CCA’s Women’s Chiropractic Caucus is a symbol of progress toward the advancement and transformation within chiropractic that will benefit clinicians and patients.

 “As a woman in leadership, a woman of colour, a mother, daughter, wife, friend, a business owner, a student, a teacher – all these intersections have enriched my practice as a chiropractor. The creation of the Women’s Chiropractic Caucus will not only empower women chiropractors to thrive but also enhance our profession as a whole. Together, we can create a more equitable and inclusive future for chiropractic care in Canada,” shared Dr. Azad.

The post Proudly launching the Women’s Chiropractic Caucus appeared first on Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA).