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Celebrating Women in Health and Social Care: Inspiring Inclusion for a Healthier Future

Published On:

5 March 2024

Published In:

International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on the 8th of  March, has a rich history dating back to 1908 when women in the United States marched for better working conditions and voting rights. Over the following decades, IWD gained international momentum, becoming a day to celebrate the achievements of women and call for action towards gender equality. Today, IWD is observed globally, uniting individuals and organisations in its mission to “Inspire Inclusion.”

A Legacy of Pioneering Women in the UK

The UK boasts a rich history of women making significant contributions to healthcare. From the Suffragettes in Manchester who challenged societal norms and barriers to entry in various professions, including healthcare, to pioneering doctors like Dame Margaret Bondfield, the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the UK and a champion for social justice in healthcare. Women are the backbone of the health and social care sector globally, with 81% of the adult social care workforce identifying as female, and have paved the way for a more inclusive and equitable healthcare landscape.

Inspiring Inclusion in Action

While the examples highlighted earlier showcase global initiatives, significant strides are also being made within the UK healthcare and social care sector to “Inspire Inclusion” – the campaign theme for IWD this year:

  • Championing female leadership: The NHS Women Leaders Network supports and empowers women in leadership roles across the National Health Service, fostering career development and advocating for fair representation.
  • Closing the gender pay gap: The UK government’s Gender Pay Gap reporting initiative encourages transparency and accountability, paving the way for addressing pay discrepancies within the healthcare sector.
  • Supporting work-life balance: Flexible working arrangements and shared parental leave policies are increasingly being implemented within the UK healthcare system, allowing individuals to better balance work and personal responsibilities.
  • Addressing gender-specific health needs: The Women’s Health Strategy for England outlines a 10-year plan to improve women’s health and wellbeing across various areas, including access to preventive care, reproductive health services, and mental health support.
  • Celebrating the achievements of women: The Royal Society of Medicine’s Women in Medicine Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of women in various medical fields across the UK.

Continuous Progress: A Call for Collective Action

While progress has been made, continued efforts are crucial to achieve true gender equality within the UK’s health and social care sector. We can all contribute by:

  • Championing female colleagues within service: Advocate for their professional development and nominate them for leadership opportunities.
  • Challenging workplace biases: Be mindful of unconscious biases and create a culture of inclusivity and respect.
  • Supporting organisations promoting equality: Engage with initiatives like the NHS Women Leaders Network or participate in awareness campaigns.

Together, each action, big or small, has the power to create a more equitable and inclusive health and social care sector for all where women can reach their full potential and contribute their vital expertise to building a healthier world.

How Care 4 Quality Can Help

We can help you demonstrate your commitment to workforce equality, diversity and inclusion, and equitable outcomes principles to ensure you deliver a standard of care that considers workforce well-being and empowers everyone – staff and service users alike.  Our services can help you champion these principles under the CQC Quality Statements.  Specifically, our practices align closely with statements promoting safe and effective care, staff empowerment, dignity, and respect.

Care 4 Quality has been working collaboratively with various individual services and care groups for over a decade. During this time, we have conducted both announced and unannounced mock inspections, providing valuable support, advice, and insight to enhance compliance and governance systems. We offer the flexibility to carry out bespoke work or audits in specific areas of the service to ensure your service is carrying out the best practice.

Contact us below for more information.

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