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HSJ celebrates women in healthcare


This week HSJ will be celebrating women in healthcare, focusing on female leaders and featuring a list of 50 most inspirational women in the sector.

Do we have enough women in leadership positions? What can be done to encourage them? Is the NHS doing enough? What do men and women think about this issue? We will aim to cover all these topics in the form of surveys, articles, opinion pieces, interviews and podcasts.

On Monday, Dr Penny Newman and Ruth Sealy look at ensuring equal opportunities for women in medicine. Former NHS London chief Ruth Carnall discusses the three most importan lessons from her career in the health service.

There is also a Q&A with Heather Williams, founder of ScienceGrrl, on how she got into medical physics and about what can be done to encourage more women to join the profession.

Tuesday and Wednesday will see articles by Valerie Bevan and Jenny Rogers on subtle sexism and interview techniques respectively. Dr Judith Smith, director of policy at the Nuffield Trust, argues that the NHS has not thought deeply enough about what type of leaders it wants for the future − or how to get them. Also, listen to podcasts by Dr Emma Stanton women entrepreneurs and Sara Khan on a new generation of female leaders; and read about Anna Dugdale’s journey to the top − and the challenges, opportunities and attractions it entailed.

There is also a Q&A with Heather Tierney-Moore on how she became chief executive of a trust and her grandmother’s roots as a suffragette.

On Wednesday evening, we reveal our list of 50 most inspirational women in healthcare, with Karen Lynas, one of the judges, explaining the judging criteria.  

HSJ, along with the King’s Fund, have conducted a survey on female health leaders. Claire Read analyses the results, explaining why they are a cause for both optimism and concern. She also speaks to NHS England clinical director Celia Ingham Clark on the latter’s leadership style and essential attributes for the job. In an exclusive podcast, Ruth Sealy tells Nosmot Gbadamosi what lessons the healthcare can learn from the FTSE100.  

On Friday, Suzanne Rastrick, director of quality at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, speaks to Shreshtha Trivedi on the importance of role models and mentors. Bernie Cuthel, chief executive of Liverpool Community Health Trust, writes about the challenges of being a female chief executive. And Polly Jones, a regulatory performance manager at King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust, argues “Generation Y” should be better represented on boards.

Meanwhile, scientists Elly Castellano and Sue Edyvean share their views on leadership, inspirational figures, and the myth that science and mathematics are only for geeks.

Join in the discussion on our website, as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn, and give us your feedback. Our hashtag is #HSJWomen.  

More from HSJ women’s week


Readers' comments (21)

  • Jagtar Singh

    Well done HSJ in supporting this important agenda
    just when some us were feeling equality was falling of the Radar

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  • Jagtar, if you were a nurse, you'd realise that equality is for managers and board executives, not for the bulk of NHS staff. I've never felt less like celebrating the role of women in the NHS in the light of my experience as a nurse.

    But I might raise a smile if they ever managed to find anyone with the good sense and determination of Florence Nightingale! She'd be lucky to last 3 months in today's NHS - she never toed any party line and could never resist telling it like it was. She'd have been a priority target for another NHS gagging order... but her words from the 1870s still inspire me and her management actually worked for patients.

    Imagine that....

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  • So if you are on the list you are inspirational and if you are not where does that put you?

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  • Roy Lilley

    as the majority of staff are women should we have a 'man' prize for the minority! :-)

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  • Sorry Roy my vote would defintely not be for you, however I can think of one or two women who might not be on the current list e.g.

    Cynthia Bowers ex CQC
    Christine Outram, currently NHS England's Director of Intelligence and IT [whatever that might be] given that she would not know how to switch on a PC on or even turn it off never mind find the print tab] . God help us blue blooded males currently in or sadly out of the best public service ever.

    Re answering Roy Lilley's personal plea; how about Alan Langlands or indeed Bryan Harrison for those old enough to remember them both and those that like me who stuill regard them as the best of the best by far!

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  • Good on you Jagtar, I agree with your views entirely!!!!

    God help us males and those who work in this service!!!!

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  • Thats the management training scheme for you! It churns out clones who get plum jobs by virtue of being on the scheme through the old boys and girls networks regardless of their experience/ competence.

    Yes there are a few good people pop out from the scheme, but there are others who talk the talk and flit from job to job on the back of the schemes reputation, moving on before they get found out, while other more competent individuals are overlooked - yes Im bitter :-)

    I hope that one of the outcomes of Francis will be to look at the contribution of the scheme to the current ills in the NHS as I've worked for some hopeless ex management trainees

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  • agree with you 11.58, the regional bod for the MTS advised me not to do it many years ago, saying I had enough experience from the private sector, it wasn't until I'd been in the NHS for a few years til I saw it was nothing to do with learning but everything to do with networking. Saw the same meteoric rise of mediocrity and my desire to grimly see it through like a loyal supporter cheering on their ever losing team just crumbled in the face of my last boss who took immense pride in telling me she'd been a head girl. Things went downhill rapidly ever after. But the thing is, which are worse, the inner MTS circle, or Gateway scheme crowd?!

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  • Celebrate women in healthcare? Let me see: Patricia Hewitt? Cynthia Bowyer? Jo Williams? Carol Black? Barbara Hakin? The dozens and dozens of NHS (and other fields) quangocrat queens created since NuLabour came to power in 1997? Women as dedicated nurses and frontline clinical staff, yes - but in positions of responsibility and power - no. OK, a broad generalisation, but this is what we are talking about. Stuff your "Diversity & Equality" claptrap: everyone knows that there is too much oestrogen at middle management level in the NHS, but no-one can say it.

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  • And the white male bullies? Gosh, I can't think of any. All that oestrogen's gone straight to my head. I must lie down with a damp cloth over my eyes. Maybe it's the change.

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