Interim COO Cathy Walker explains why it’s important for the NHS to #EmbraceEquity

 January 24, 2023

Women's health is the cornerstone of economies and societies worldwide. Yet, women are often impacted by a gender gap in healthcare services and medical research.

Governments, medical bodies, and communities worldwide are taking steps to help improve women's health outcomes. Women’s voices must be placed at the center of their health and care. Quality and accessibility of information and education on women’s health is key. Health and care systems need to be responsive to women’s health and care needs throughout their life. Employers need to focus on and support women’s health matters within the workplace. And more research is needed into better understanding and improving women's health.

To truly embrace equity means to ensure women have access to the differing products and services they require.

Engaging colleagues to #EmbraceEquity

One government organization that works incredibly hard to prioritize women's health is the National Health Service (NHS), the publicly funded healthcare system in England. 

NHS Central London Community Healthcare Interim Chief Operating Officer Cathy Walker, explains why it’s important for everyone working in the NHS to #EmbraceEquity 

NHS - International Women's Day

Informing, inspiring and rallying colleagues and communities to step forward and take positive action is key. 

"International Women's Day is on 8 March, and it's an opportunity to celebrate women’s rights and inspire people to act in the ongoing battle for gender equality," explains Cathy.

"This year's theme is #EmbraceEquity which highlights the importance of how equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. Forging gender equity isn't just limited to women. Allies are incredibly important for social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women. Therefore, I encourage all members of staff to support this cause, as everyone wins when gender equality is forged. There’s still so much to do, however we have seen many advancements for women over the years. So together, let’s embrace equity."

Cathy discusses what their IWD campaign will cover over coming months including staff stories, videos, and information to spotlight the incredible work of their female workforce and Women's Network. 

The Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) is an NHS Trust that provides community health services to over two million people across London.

Part of the Trust’s Promoting Equality and Tackling Inequality is committed to building greater awareness and confidence on equity.

Learn more about their considerable and impressive efforts here.

Cathy has worked as a director for over 14 years within community and mental health trusts and commissioning organisations, and started her NHS career as a mental health nurse.

Further NHS International Women's Day activity

NHS International Women's Day

Many further arms and communities of the NHS are marking International Women's Day.

For example, the NHS Confederation is actively encouraging collaboration among its communities of colleagues. NHS Confederation is a membership organization that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Their Health & Care Women Leaders Network, a free network for women working across health and care, is hosting an IWD event to "celebrate and highlight work underway to progress gender equality and make a positive difference for women working in health and care." 

With a focus on the theme of #EmbraceEquity, activity involves an early morning Tweet chat, and a virtual event on Zoom featuring NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard, Network Chair, Samantha Allen, and further thought leaders. Inspiring by presentations from organisations doing great work to progress gender equality and make a positive difference for women working in health and care also form part of NHS IWD activity. 

NHS Confederation's Health & Care Women Leaders Network is a free network for all women working across health and care. They connect through events, masterclasses, tweet chats, and campaigns - and share learning through podcasts, blogs, videos, and key reports. A key focus is celebrating women's skills and talents, connecting with colleagues, and challenging gender stereotypes in the workplace.


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