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Home Industry News Key NHS roles ‘remain male-dominated despite recent progress’

Key NHS roles ‘remain male-dominated despite recent progress’

6th April 2017

Gender equality on NHS trust boards is improving, but more work is needed to address the persistent domination of key roles by men.

This is according to the findings of a new report from NHS Employers, which found substantial variations in the percentage of women on boards across more than 450 NHS organisations, including trusts, arm's-length bodies and clinical commissioning groups.

The overall average for female representation was 41 percent, but this figure was as high as 80 percent for some organisations and as low as eight percent in other cases. For example, 85 percent of chief nurses on trust boards in England are women, but only one-third of non-executive directors are female. 

Meanwhile, 42 percent of trust chief executives are women, but the report also highlighted that the number of female medical directors on trust boards remains "disappointingly low".

The Royal College of Nursing responded to the findings by saying the signs of progress were welcome, but that further efforts are still necessary to achieve true gender equality.

Wendy Irwin, diversity and equalities coordinator at the Royal College of Nursing, said: "While this report makes strides in highlighting the differences of women on NHS boards, more research is needed to understand their diversity beyond gender and where discrimination is experienced by staff."

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