Our events

An applauding audience

Networking events are a prominent feature of the Health & Care Women Leaders Network, we profile key speakers that are engaging, motivating and inspirational.

Our network events so far, have covered everything from professional development, mindfulness, resilience, key reports and policy and of course, inspirational leadership journeys.

Upcoming events

Women in health and care: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world  

Join us for a virtual celebration of International Women's Day, 8 March 10am to 4pm.

NHS Chief People Officer, Prerana Issar and Sam Allen, chief executive of Sussex Partnership Trust and chair of our network will co-host the celebration to recognise the achievements of women and to connect with others who share the goal of gender equality.

The event is free to attend and open to all working in health and care, whatever their role, grade, ethnicity, gender identity, disability or sexual orientation. The event is designed to fit around the busy lives of those working in health and care, so delegates are welcome to take part in as much or little of the event as they want to.

During the day the network will host a number of exciting and informative breakout sessions on a range of topics. Join us at 2.40pm for your session of choice, connect with others to share experiences, discuss hopes for the future, talk about your development, find out why kindness as a leadership strategy is key or take a look at how women leaders have done during the pandemic.

Find out more about the network's breakout sessions and our amazing line up of speakers

Find out more about the event and register for your free place now.

Download and use this flyer to encourage people in your organisation to attend.

Past events

Festival of learning, wellbeing and inclusion

On Wednesday 18 November 2020 the network held a virtual Festival of learning, wellbeing and inclusion in partnership with the BME Leadership Network and the Health & Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network.

The event looked back on the challenges of 2020 and looked forward to reset and restoration - the conference programme focused on the importance of looking after ourselves and each other, and provided the opportunity to listen to and discuss with experts how to create a culture of inclusion and belonging. Take a look at some of the highlights from the day in this Twitter moment.

Delegates heard from keynote speakers including Julia Gillard and Hannah Barham-Brown and had the opportunity to attend the following breakout sessions.

  • Progressing racial equity and justice – courage, candour and transformation with Tracie Jolliff, Head of Inclusive System Development, NHS England and NHS Improvement.
  • Finding your full voice, how to speak so others listen, Cath Baxter, Voice coach and public speaking expert.
  • Leading through the six month wall, Mok O’Keeffe, Founder, The Innovation Beehive. Download the free Resilience Workbook to learn practical tools to build your resilience and keep moving forwards.
  • Transforming culture – creating healthy, supportive and positive workplaces with Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, NHS Employers and Diana Belfon, Equality & Engagement Manager, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
  • The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 - widening inequality and health inequalities? Joan Saddler, Director of Partnerships and Equality, NHS Confederation, Wayne Farah, Co-facilitator of the NHS Confederation's BME Leadership Network and Dr Habib Naqvi MBE, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, hosted by the NHS Confederation.
  • Building a diverse board, Professor Ruth Sealy, University of Exeter Business School, Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation and Peter Molyneux, Chair, Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network.
  • Moral injury, mental health and COVID, Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health, King’s College London and Nick Grey, Clinical Psychologist, and Clinical Research and Training Fellow, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • How to get that promotion with Jo Larbie, Founder and Director of Inclusive Professions, and Executive Coach.

The conference was closed by Victor Adebowale, chair, NHS Confederation and brilliant musician Butterscotch.

Take a look at our festival highlights in the video below.

How to effectively influence in virtual meetings

On Wednesday 15 July the network supported Women Speakers in Healthcare to deliver a virtual workshop on how to effectively influence in virtual meetings. During the workshop Cath Baxter, a leading voice coach and a public speaking expert talked about how you can become positively conscious of your verbal and physical delivery in an online world covering themes including:

  • Setting the stage - ensure background supports communication.
  • Ready for your close-up? - the impact of effective eye contact.
  • The hand is the visual part of the brain - effective use of gesture online.
  • Think before you speak - how we need to speak more slowly and deliberately online.
  • Death by PowerPoint! - how even a few slides can kill a presentation or meeting online.

Check out this Twitter moment and some highlights from the webinar in the video below.

On Thursday 21 May we held a webinar aimed at supporting health and care staff to stay safe and stay connected during COVID19. Watch the webinar on the NHS Confederation website.

International Womens Day 2020

On Friday 6 March 2020 the network hosted a reception in the Houses of Parliament attended by a group of senior colleagues and network members to celebrate International Women's Day 2020. Follow our day in this Twitter moment

#BalanceForBetter conference 2019

On 13 November 2019, we held our third annual conference under the theme Balance is Better for everyone. Take a look at our Twitter moment for a summary of the event. Our speakers included Prerana Issar, chief people officer at NHS England and Improvement, chief fire officers Dawn Whittaker and Chris Blacksell and Professor Ruth Sealy, author of the NHS Women on Boards:50:50 by 2020 report.

Delegates also attended breakout sessions run by Yetunde Hofmann, Amy from The Wellbeing Collective, and Paul Deemer from NHS Employers and Ricky Somal from Southern Health. Our second keynote was delivered by Dr Penelope Dash from McKinsey. Network friends FlexNHS also delivered a presentation before our final panel session featuring a number of senior women in the NHS launched our #WonderfulWomenDo campaign.


In June 2019, we held a session at Confed19 looking at 'How to achieve a winning mindset' presented by performance psychologist, Michael Caulfield. Take a look at our vox pop video below to get a feel for what attendees thought of the session.

Annual conference 2018

In November 2018, we held our second annual conference. Catch up on the event in our Twitter momentThe event brought together members of the NHS Confederation and NHS Employers run network of senior and aspiring female leaders working in health and care under the theme of #liftasyouclimb.

The day saw presentations from several speakers including Dr Kathy McClean from NHS Improvement and Professor Ruth Sealy, talking about the NHS Women on Boards: 50:50 by 2020 report, a session which was subsequently covered in this article by our media partner the Health Service Journal (HSJ). Two of the HSJ’s top 50 CEO’s of 2018, Marianne Griffiths and Dr Navina Evans, also joined fellow CEO and network chair Samantha Allen to share their leadership journeys.

Speakers from within the public and private sector were also in attendance, including the Greater London Authority, Belinda Parmar from The Empathy Business and Saatchi & Saatchi London, alongside breakout sessions on mentoring and how to set up a women’s network in your organisation.



  • On 3 December 2015, the network gathered for the launch of NHS Women in Leadership: A Plan for action, a new report by Dr Penny Newman. Find out what happened and read the full report.
  • On 3 December 2015, the network gathered for the launch of NHS Women in Leadership: A Plan for action, a new report by Dr Penny Newman. Find out what happened and read the full report.
  • On 3 December 2015, the network gathered for the launch of NHS Women in Leadership: A Plan for action, a new report by Dr Penny Newman. Find out what happened and read the full report.

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