We’re proud to be celebrating International Women’s Day today (Monday 8 March) and honouring the fantastic female role models who work at our hospitals.
More than 80% of our workforce is female, with women represented in a whole range of roles from nurses to porters, housekeepers to doctors, and we’re led by Sarah-Jane Marsh, our Chief Executive.
To mark this day, we’re highlighting some of those women who play such an important role in keeping the women and children in our care safe, finding out why they love working at our Trust and why they think it’s important to have strong female role models for people to look up to.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive
What do you like about working at BWC? Everything! Seriously! The people, the patients and families, the mission, the values, the joy. There is no place like it on the planet.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? To show that we can do it! Be a fantastic member of the team, a mum, a Carer, whatever else we do, there are people like us leading the world and we are fabulous.
Fiona Reynolds, Medical Director
What do you like about working at BWC? My colleagues and the great teams I am a member of.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? Female role models are so important for women and girls. If we can’t look up to role models like ourselves to see what is possible, then we don’t have something to aim at.
Teresa Parker, Managing Director (Vital Services)
What do you enjoy about working in Vital Services? I really enjoy the variety of work and opportunities within the company. I’ve found the team spirit to be fabulous and feel proud of what we have achieved - particularly over the last year when it has been tough. Staff have shown great resilience and collaboration.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? I fell into construction and management of facilities by accident, although I am really pleased I did. I wasn’t put off by the fact it is male-dominated environment. When you are in the minority in the sector, you tend to be remembered better if you perform well! I think it is really important to be an inclusive woman manager and show a willingness to support others and appreciating differences and ensuring they have their say. This helps younger people understand the career possibilities for them in the future.
Rachel Carter, Head of Midwifery and Deputy Chief Nurse (Women’s)
What do you like about working at BWC? There really is nowhere quite like it. There is a true sense of ‘family’, being there for one another and that the team truly do care wholeheartedly for the women, babies, children and families and each other. There is recognition that we can always do better and do more but there is a palpable heartbeat at the centre of this Trust.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? Research shows that one of the greatest influences on a young girl’s future success is her access to female role models who are strong, visible, capable and with whom they can relate. That doesn’t mean you have to be senior in your role or position to be a role model, but it is important we all live by a set of values, for example, as those we follow at BWCH and which resonate with me. I’m not sure if I meet all of the role model characteristics but I certainly aspire to lead by example and to be and do the very best I possibly can for those whom I lead and care for, and for those whom we provide care for.
Maureen McCalla, Retinoblastoma Nurse Specialist
What do you like about working at BWC? I respect and enjoy the camaraderie that I have with the team I work with and the support of the senior nurses past and present who I have worked with.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? There was a time in history when black women were invisible and had no voice. There was a time in history when women globally had no voice and very little presence in society. Many women fought for the next generation to be visible and heard, they laid the road. We shouldn't take what we have today for granted or allow others to make us feel invisible or not heard because there are still places where women's rights are almost non-existent.
Raffaela Goodby, Chief People Officer
What do you like about working at BWC? I joined the Trust just over four months ago. I have always wanted to work with children and babies and women, and the people here are fantastic and it’s fun. Where else can you hear High School Musical playing in the corridor or see beautiful new born babies at work?
Why is it important to have visible female role models? So that our daughters, nieces, friends and granddaughters know they can be, or do anything they want to do. I have two daughters, Alice who is 11 and Annabel who is 20. I want them both to live in a world where women get paid the same as men for doing the same job, where their knowledge and intelligence is valued and not their body or looks, and where they feel empowered to support each other and know they will be supported in the workplace and in society. Female role models are positive for young men and women, as inspiration and aspiration for equality is for everyone, male allies included.
Jay Kumar, Associate Director of Education
I oversee and lead on the operational management, development and delivery of the non-medical in-house education at BWC. I liaise with Universities and Colleges to ensure BWC provides a positive learning environment for apprentices, pre and post registration learners. I work closely with the under and postgraduate medical education teams across BWC to support medical students and Trainees. I provide support, direction and guidance on education across the organisation, development of competencies, responding to the needs of the service/s e.g. advisory and an enabling role. Oversee the core clinical education team that provides the theory and knowledge by which a practitioner acquires skills and expertise in practice. In turn, delivering safe high quality care.
What do you like about working at BWC? The passion that the workforce has is then demonstrated in the quality of the care provided. We live the Trust Values in all we do, deliver and are part of. A sense of belonging and pride.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? It provides the ‘lived experience’ that is valuable shaping and aspiring our future workforce. We can direct, support and nurture the way forward though tolerance for who we actually are: authentic individuals.
Elaine Kirwan, Deputy Chief Nurse for Mental Health Services
What do you like about working at BWC? I love the opportunities offered to co-produce with service users and develop new services for our Birmingham population, I feel privileged to get to work every day with talented people with diverse backgrounds and views on mental health. I love that people who work here at BWC are authentic and challenge appropriately to bring about a patient centred focus at all times. It is fun!
Why is it important to have visible female role models? Because visible female leadership sends out a strong message to our younger generation of females with aspirations to be future leaders, because inclusive and diverse female leadership brings about better outcomes for team work. Because this reflects society and equality and promotes empowerment . Because female leadership can break down myths and barriers and inspire millions of others to see females putting themselves forward for leadership roles
Ruth Wall, Inclusion Ambassador
What do you like about working at BWC? I enjoy the cross working with multiple teams and departments. I’m privileged to work with so many teams in working together to improve EDI for staff and patients.
Why is it important to have visible female role models? We believe what we can see – I want our young people to be inspired, motivated and empowered. Having visible female role models helps in bringing out the potential in others whilst bring strength and confidence to other women.