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NHS chiefs told to support more women into leadership roles

NHS chiefs told to support more women into leadership roles

NHS leaders are being asked to “actively encourage” women to take on leadership roles, in a new report
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NHS leaders are being asked to “actively encourage” women to take on leadership roles, in a new report.

The report released today from NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) offers advice to current and future commissioners on how to encourage more women to take on the role.

Despite women making up 77% of the healthcare workforce, women continue to be under represented in senior level NHS roles.

In CCGs, just 37% of people on governing bodies are women, and in trusts, women make up just 28% of chair positions.

In “supporting the pipeline of future women clinical leaders”, commissioners have been told to “actively encourage women colleagues to apply for leadership roles”.

The report said: “The absence of other female clinical leader role models has been cited as a reason why many women do not actively seek leadership positions.”

It added that many women credit their role as a leader to the support of their predecessor and other women who encouraged them to put themselves forward.

The report also recommends that employers “use wording in job adverts that encourage more female applicants”.

Surrey Downs CCG is highlighted for substituting language in their job descriptions that suggest certain skills are ‘required’, instead labelling them as ‘desirable’.

This makes it clear that on going support and development will be provided for the right candidate to ensure they can fully carry out the functions of the post.

NHSCC also suggests that women:

  • Recognising the qualities that make women strong leaders rather than adjusting to traditionally male models of leadership
  • Finding a mentor
  • Identifying your own values
  • Put yourself forward for new opportunities
  • Putting an emphasis on delegation and organisation

Dr Amanda Doyle, NHSCC co-chair and clinical chief officer of Blackpool CCG, said: “Achieving gender equality in clinical commissioning leadership is vital not only in terms of fairness but also in terms of improved performance, as we highlighted in our report last year ‘Women in clinical commissioning leadership'.

“As the NHS continues to face unprecedented challenges, now is the time to act to encourage and empower more women to become leaders.”

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