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News archive - February/March 2012

Women under-represented in NHS leadership

Women under-represented in NHS leadership

WOMEN have made up the majority of medical school entrants (on average 60%) for more than two decades, however relatively few achieve leadership positions at board level. This is now mirrored in the emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), according to the NHS Leadership Academy, which believes that the gender gap poses a risk to successful implementation of NHS reforms.

In a recent study, the Academy explores the reasons for the underrepresentation, the implications this may have on emerging CCGs and recommends steps that can help women doctors overcome the challenges they face in achieving leadership roles. It compares the NHS to the private sector where considerable effort is being made to get more women on corporate Boards.

The Academy’s Karen Lynas said: “It is essential that CCGs attract a diverse mix of talented individuals to make effective, patient-centred decisions.” NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, concurred: “The NHS provides a 24/7 service. Having a flexible, sympathetic and supportive environment that benefits both staff and patients is essential.”

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