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7 February 2012
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Releasing potential: women doctors and clinical leadership

By Dr Penny Newman
Published by NHS Midlands and East

Numerous reports have identified the under representation of women doctors at board level, now mirrored on emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Significant efforts to increase female representation on corporate boards in the UK and across Europe include the use of quotas.

This study provides qualitative data from in-depth interviews with senior female medics to highlight the contribution of women doctors at board level including on CCGs.

Increasing female representation will ensure use of talent and increase capacity, enable inclusive, non hierarchical behaviours, create powerful role models, reflect the needs of female patients and help ensure compliance with the Equality Act. Gender diverse boards have improved financial and organisational performance.

Action is needed to improve the talent pipeline and overcome complex barriers that impede female medical career progression.

The current focus is on clinical leadership; need for new leadership styles; organisational performance; and creation of effective CCGs following authorisation. These all create an unique opportunity and urgent need to address this long standing issue.


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