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Can women break through nursing's glass ceiling?

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Female NHS staff less likely to be in leadership Female NHS staff less likely to be in leadership roles despite making up 77% of the workforce

The NHS is often seen as a socially progressive institution but there is one area where it is failing badly.

The majority of NHS staff (77%) are women yet they make up only 36% of chief executives, 26% of finance directors and 24% of medical directors. In the 211 CCGs across the country, the workforce is predominantly female (70%) while women make up only 37% of governing body members and 26% of lead GPs.1 In contrast to this recent HSCIC figures found that just 1.4% of practice nurses were men.2

In December 2015, NHS Employers released a report looking at the numbers of women in healthcare and setting out a series of recommendations to encourage more women into leadership positions in healthcare and the NHS. These included calling on the Department of Health to include gender equality in the NHS England mandate and to appoint a champion to outline the positive contribution of women.


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