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IWD 2024: More women in leadership creates better opportunities for innovation
Fri, 8th Mar 2024

When we talk about equality for women in business, we can mean a number of things: equal opportunities, equal representation, or equal recognition. All are important, but they don’t mean the same thing. For me, it’s more relevant — and more accurate — to talk about fairness. 

My leadership style centres on fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. I believe in empowering teams to explore new ideas, take calculated risks, and embrace change as we work together towards shared goals. And that applies to everyone, regardless of gender, age, or any other difference we may have.

Experience goes a long way

With my background as a clinical health professional for the NHS, I bring front-line knowledge to my current role. As one of the first consultant radiographers in the UK, I am proud to have witnessed several pioneering medical innovations first-hand. I know what technology and digital innovation can do to advance medical and healthcare progress.

Leveraging my clinical background, I bridge the gap between healthcare and technology, envisioning comprehensive strategies that optimise patient care delivery, drive operational efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. I'm passionate about integrating innovative solutions that empower healthcare professionals and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

I thrive on the excitement of seeing a new technology or innovation being developed in the industry. It also means my knowledge stays relevant and up to date. Staying on top of emerging technologies, digital health trends, and policy changes allows me to provide cutting-edge solutions and accurate advice to others. 

And that leads me on to another part of my role – championing and mentoring other women in the industry.

Collaborating for success

In terms of helping more women to succeed, I see my role as that of supporter, encourager, and example-setter. The fact that I’ve achieved the things I’ve achieved in my career so far can — and should — serve as a positive sign to women that barriers are there to be broken. Challenges are there to be overcome; opportunities are there for the taking. 

As a member of Chief — a private network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders — I am surrounded by brilliant women, all focused on honing their leadership skills, growing their positive influence, and paving the way for future generations.

What I’ve taken from my experiences of working and networking with other women is that when we get together, we create a very specific way of working. We drive people to think differently, pause longer, and consider more carefully. And when you apply this approach, great things happen. 

Women in leadership — more must be done 

The health industry is like many others, in that women’s leadership is slowly improving, but there is always more to do. According to a McKinsey report from 2022, 32% of healthcare C-Suite members are women. This outperformed many other industries, but there is still room for improvement. 

As the report states: “The representation of women drops in each successive career level. For example, although 70% of managers are women, just 45% of vice presidents (two levels higher) are women — a drop-off of 25 percentage points. Just like last year, promotion rates, retention, and external hiring have not kept pace to improve representation at more senior management levels.”

Driving innovation

For me, it’s a problem that must be addressed for the good of the whole industry. In the same way that business leaders draw on the expertise of different thought leaders to get a rounded view, it’s vital to have more women in leadership for the same reasons. Skills and perspectives aside, women often bring structural and cultural nuances to the table, resulting in new solutions and driving different — and better — outcomes.

Bringing more women into leadership positions simply means it’s a fairer model. Having more people at the helm with differing experiences, skills, and backgrounds leads to greater creativity and innovation. After all, people work best when they bounce ideas off each other, and the more different perspectives you can add into that mix, the better.