The NHS should be recognised as a place where women can make their mark


19 / 5 / 2014 1.48pm

The NHS Employers organisation today shared printable posters throughout the NHS to draw attention to the huge contribution of women in healthcare, following the NHS Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week where NHS organisations have been sharing and learning from best practice.
Paul Deemer, head of equality, diversity and human rights at the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“When people talk about the NHS, it is probably a nurse that springs to the forefront of most peoples minds, and of course about 90 per cent of our nurses are women. But the contribution of women in the NHS is evident throughout the NHS and in every setting. The NHS probably has more women in senior roles than almost any other sector, whether politics, law, higher education or business. This extends right to the top, where 40 per cent of NHS chief executives are women – almost double that seen in FTSE100 companies (1).

“Even in what was once a male-dominated world of medicine, women are - for the first time in our country’s history - beginning to outnumber men in the emerging generation of hospital and family doctors.
“So the NHS really is busting its old stereotypes, one by one, and should be recognised as a place where women can make their mark. It’s still not perfect but there is lots to celebrate here and by highlighting our progress we can dispel doubts that the opportunities out there. Our posters will available throughout the NHS and I’m sure the information about ‘Gender in the NHS’ will allay some myths, help highlight where change is still needed, and above all show the massive contribution women make to the NHS.”
The infographic poster is available to download at
Key facts:
  • Women make up 46 per cent of England’s working population but 77 per cent of the NHS workforce.
  • 40 per cent of NHS chief executives are women.
  • 87 per cent of NHS nursing directors are women.
  • 69 per cent of NHS HR directors are women.
  • 24 per cent of NHS medical directors are women.
  • 26 per cent of NHS financial directors are women.
  • Although there are more men than women in medical careers, 58 per cent of doctors in training are women and this year women were shown to have become more numerous than men (51 per cent women) in GP careers.
The infographic poster is one of three being provided by NHS Employers during Equality, Diversity and Human Rights week. The others are about ethnicity and age.

Notes to editors

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