AUW Board Member Rowena Buffett Timms is a leader in Hawai‛i's healthcare industry and a trailblazer for women in leadership. As the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of The Queen's Health System, Rowena is responsible for ensuring the highest standards of patient care and nursing excellence at the organization's hospitals and clinics. Her unwavering commitment to patient-centered care and compassionate leadership has earned her widespread admiration and respect in the healthcare community.
Rowena's heart for uplifting others doesn't stop there. Rowena is a passionate advocate for women's health and gender equity, using her platform to promote initiatives that support women's wellness and empowerment. As a leader on the AUW Board of Directors and a role model for women in Hawai‛i and beyond, we were honored to ask Rowena a few questions about the women who have shaped and inspired her throughout her life.
Who was the most influential woman in your life?
My mom, Margaret Buffett Manning. She’s amazing – brilliant, funny, an artist, adventuresome, and oftentimes rebellious. She provided me with the opportunity to learn to be resilient and fluid – not rigid. Little did I know how important those characteristics would be later in my life and career.
How do you think COVID-19 has impacted women in the workplace? At home?
I’m not sure there’s been a more impacted group. Mothers, wives, partners, caregivers – we saw them not only running their families but becoming teachers and daycare providers all while working and continuing to do all of the other things they’d always done.
There was a time before COVID when even we as women we would have thought it unprofessional for a working mother to have a meeting with her child in her lap. But now, we recognize each other’s humanity and have reached a new paradigm of how we engage with one another. During this time of COVID, we’ve been reminded of the whole human, not just the “work human.” We’d somehow lost that. The badge of honor now though is work-life balance.
At home, women had to pivot in ways we never dreamt of before. Who would have ever thought that every mother would be homeschooling? They were on Zoom calls holding their babies or having their kids running in and out. I found it endearing and thought: “Show them what we can do!”
Pick one woman for each activity. Have dinner with. Go on a trip with. Work side by side with.
Dinner with Julia Child.
Go on a trip around Hawai‛i with Queen Emma.
So very fortunate to be working side by side with Dr. Jill Hoggard Green.
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom said, “Always trust your intuition.”