Survey reveals women face barriers to becoming senior leaders in NHS

The results of a survey published on 18 July by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) suggests that women are still facing barriers to becoming senior leaders in the NHS.

1075 people responded to the survey that was organised by the HSJ and The King’s Fund, 90% of whom were female.

The survey revealed that 49% of the women who responded thought that having children put their career at a disadvantage, while two thirds felt a greater pressure to prove themselves than their male counterparts.

Despite women making up three quarters of the NHS workforce, just 37% of senior roles on clinical commissioning group governing bodies and NHS provider boards are held by women.

Nicola Hartley, director of leadership development at The King’s Fund, said: ‘Although women make up the large majority of the NHS workforce, they remain seriously underrepresented in leadership. These survey results, which chime with what we are told by the women we work with, show that they face serious obstacles in gaining senior roles. There some great women leaders in health care but the pace of change has been incredibly slow. These findings should act as a prompt to examine why we have too few women in the most senior roles and what we can do to change that.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 23 July 2013.

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