Data shows that despite women making up 80% of the health and care workforce in South Yorkshire, women slowly disappeared in the more senior bands.

There are many barriers to women progressing in their careers; some can be attributed to a disadvantage, disability or impairment, some to facing discriminatory behaviour or prejudice and some to a lack of self-belief.

In order for women to progress in their careers in healthcare, they need to adopt a range of enablers including coaching and mentoring, self-belief, training programmes etc. but also making the most of peer networks. As such, the South Yorkshire Women’s Network was established.

Aspiring and Established Women Leaders Event – December 2022

Our first event brought over 100 women together from across health and care in South Yorkshire.

The event was hosted by Kathryn Singh, CEO at RDaSH, and speakers included;

  • Ali Bishop, the EDI Lead for South Yorkshire ICS talked about the importance of peer networks
  • Sheeba Jefferson, Deputy Nurse Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospital shared her personal journey
  • Jo McDonough, Director of Strategy at RDaSH talked about barriers to progression such as mental health and physical conditions

We also saw Kathryn Singh be presented with an award for a lifetime of commitment to Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

The Women Leaders’ Network is a safe and welcoming space for women who work across South Yorkshire Integrated Care System and their allies.

Feedback from attendees of the session has been extremely positive:

“Huge thanks for organising such a fantastic event and for having me in the company of such an amazing and inspirational group of leaders!”

“Great event – so inspiring and interesting. Thank you so much.”

“Thanks for a fabulous event. I was very inspired and made some great connections. Made to feel very welcome.”

“Congratulations on a fabulous event today. It was so inspiring listening to those leadership journeys, which were different in many ways but had key themes running through all three.”

To see the amazing impact of our first event, see our short film.

March 2023

Following a successful event celebrating women in leadership in December 2022, we have established a quarterly South Yorkshire Women Leaders Network Meeting for aspiring and established women leaders working in health and social care.

Both events in December 2022 and the first meeting in March 2023 were oversubscribed, with speakers from across roles and fields inspiring attendees. The first network meeting in March 2023 was hosted by Kirsten Major, CEO of Sheffield Teaching Hospital, and speakers included:

  • Mandy Espey, Health Inequalities Lead Doncaster, talked about her journey and shared some top tips.
  • Rukeya Miah, Deputy Associate Director of Nursing at Bradford Teaching Hospitals shared her passion for inclusivity.
  • Dr Maria Read, a Sheffield GP with over 50 years of Primary Care experience.

July 2023

The network meeting in July 2023 was hosted by Sharon Mays, Chair of Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, and speakers included;

  • Sheila Lloyd, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nurse RDaSH
  • Catriona Collins, Head of People Resourcing, Sheffield Children’s Hospital

We also spent time having table discussions on ‘Inclusive Recruitment for Women and People from Minority Backgrounds’ and many solutions were explored and put forward.