About us

An audience

The Health & Care Women Leaders Network is an initiative delivered by the NHS Confederation and NHS Employers.

The network was established in 2015 and is made up of senior and aspiring women leaders, with new members joining every week. Our members are women with a range of roles, skills, and backgrounds which adds to the rich diversity of the health and care community.

The network is straightforward in its outlook. It exists to:

  • support women in their careers and their professional development
  • recognise the skills and talents of women and their impact across health and care
  • raise awareness of barriers facing women in the workplace
  • share knowledge, inspiration and motivation from key speakers and focused workshops
  • empower women to secure senior and board level positions
  • scrutinise and challenge bias against women in the workplace.

The network continues to build its presence socially - engage with @hcwomenleaders and use our hashtag #NHSwomen.

Member priorities 

The findings from our member survey have helped us better understand the topics our members care most about which include:

  • more women on NHS boards
  • gender pay gap
  • flexible working
  • a strong united voice for women
  • healthy work-life balance
  • harassment and bullying.

The survey also identified some of the most significant barriers to career development our members have experienced and helped us understand more about how the network has supported our members and how it can continue to provide support going forward.

For more information on our aims and priorities for 2019/20 read the Health & Care Women Leaders Network - Strategic overview.

Our network chair and deputy chairs

Our network chair is Samantha Allen, chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Sam has worked in the NHS for over 21 years, beginning her career as a temporary receptionist in a community mental health team. Sam became a chief executive in March 2017.

Sam is supported by two deputy chairs, Tracie Jolliff, Director of Inclusion, NHS Leadership Academy and Yvonne Ormston, Chief Executive, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Tracie leads the design and development of effective and ethical leadership strategies, such as the Building Leadership For Inclusion strategy (BLFI) which seeks to raise the level of ambition on inclusion, quicken the pace of change and ensure that leadership is equipped to achieve and leave a sustainable legacy on inclusion. She’s an experienced executive coach and has spoken and lectured on leadership and inclusion nationally.

Yvonne has been Chief Executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust since June 2019 and was awarded her MBE in recognition of her services to the NHS in a career spanning over 30 years. Yvonne was previously Chief Executive of North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and has significant experience of working in multi-agency partnerships, particularly across the health and social care setting.

Follow Tracie and Yvonne on Twitter @TracieJolliff  @YvonneOrmston.

Follow Sam on Twitter @samanthallen, and find our more about her, her leadership journey and her plans for the network in the below film.


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