Lack of women leaders is a loss to the NHS

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This week Health Service Journal celebrates the contribution of women to the leadership of the UK health service. Hopefully, of course, we do so every week as part of our focus on innovation and endeavour − but this week we have made a conscious decision to narrow the spotlight.

Why? Because − despite the huge advances in equality over recent decades − women are still underrepresented among healthcare leaders. Last year’s HSJ 100 ranking of the most powerful people in health contained just 20 women − and that was an eight year high.

Exclusive research by HSJ reveals that only 37 per cent of senior roles within clinical commissioning groups and NHS trusts are held by women.

Changing times

Women healthcare leaders often have it tough. As well as the challenges of juggling family and career and the overt sexism that still lurks in parts of the service, they face hypocritical attitudes that limit their progress. Too often successful female leaders are deemed to be aping men, while those that fail are judged to have done so because they displayed a surfeit of supposedly female characteristics.

Read the full article here