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Strong, United and Influential: Introducing the Health & Care Women Leaders Network

5 May 2021


The Health & Care Women Leaders Network is a free network delivered by NHS Confederation for women working across the health and care sector. The network was established in 2015 and has grown to include around two thousand women. Network members connect through events, masterclasses and tweet chats, and share learning through podcasts, blogs, videos and key reports.

The network’s mission is to be a strong, united and influential voice for women, embracing the multiple and intersectional identities that the word ‘woman’ speaks to.

This year will be a year of action for the network, building on our work done to date we want to develop the network as an agent for change, a social movement able to influence, drive positive culture change and amplify voices to promote equality, diversity and inclusion across the NHS and health and care sectors.

In our year of action we will:

  • Host conversations with network members on specific issues such as the ally role, notions of leadership, making the network more inclusive and developing our member offer.
  • Deliver a visual campaign that helps to reinforce messages about different leadership approaches, encouraging a broader notion of what we mean by leadership and building a more inclusive understanding of leadership into the way that the network operates.
  • Progress the recommendations in two important reports published by the network during 2020 and 2021 Action for equality: The time is now and COVID-19 and the female health and care workforce.
  • Continue to work with key partners on other network priorities to enable and promote flexible working in the health and care sector, address the gender pay gap and tackle bullying and harassment.

In our most recent report, COVID-19 and the Female Health and Care Workforce, we share findings of a survey commissioned to better understand the impact the pandemic has had on women working across health and care services.

The network continues to push for equal gender representation across senior positions in the health and care sector. In 2017 the network published its NHS Women on Boards: 50:50 by 2020 report, which examined the steps the NHS needed to take to reach the target of equal gender representation on boards by 2020. We subsequently published Action for equality: The time is now which found that while progress has been made to increase the proportion of women in leadership roles across the health service, there is more to do to meet the NHS’s target for 50:50 representation.

Find out more about the network and how you can become a member. Follow them on Twitter @hcwomenleaders and LinkedIn.

This post was written by:

Jessica Gregson - Senior Communications Officer, NHS Employers


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