MiP Logo for MiP the Union for Health and Care Managers

The union for health and care managers

Home  >  News & Campaigns  >  News Articles  >  News: Summit 2019 - MiP to set up women’s network
Saturday 16 November 2019

Summit 2019: MiP to set up women’s network

By MiP

MiP national officer Claire Pullar
Tom Campbell
MiP national officer Claire Pullar: “the climate for women leaders in the NHS is, if anything, getting harsher at the moment”.

Following an MiP Summit group discussion on women in leadership, delegates agreed to set up an MiP women’s network to share experiences and support women managers in developing their careers.

“We want to draw on everyone’s experience of the challenges we face as women leaders,” said MiP national officer Claire Pullar, who led the session. She warned that “the climate for women leaders in the NHS is, if anything, getting harsher at the moment”. By way of example, she cited statistics showing that older women were far more likely to lose their jobs during organisational change than older male colleagues.

Delegates drew on their own experiences to describe some of the barriers women leaders still face in the NHS. One trend noted by several delegates was for women leaders to be given new responsibilities, only to find they were denied the support or pay that male colleagues had received when doing the same job previously.

“I think we as women members and managers have a degree of responsibility to change that cultural behaviour,” said one delegate. “An MiP network, to share that experience and come up with solutions, would be a valuable extra support.”

Several delegates argued that the NHS needed to give more support to carers. “The expectations from the employer are often unreasonable,” said one delegate. “As a mother, there are times when you have to drop everything, and employers often don’t respond well to that. Women need to feel supported in terms of being able to do that.”

One delegate described how her employers refused to permit any senior managerial job to be done part time. “I have one senior colleague who’s just had a baby and she’s been told there’s no chance—you have to come back full time or not at all.”

Pullar said employers often downgraded women’s contributions because of their caring responsibilities. “We have people who are nervous—or actually scared—about starting a family because of the effect on their career.”

Among the other issues which the group suggested that the new network should tackle were bullying and harassment—which disproportionately affects women staff—along with the lack of support for women going through menopause, and the difficulties they faced discussing it with male colleagues.

We expect MiP’s new women’s network to start work in Spring 2020. If you’d like to get involved, contact Mercedes Broadbent at MiP head office.

If you'd like to read more from MiP, sign up to receive our free monthly emails – we’ll keep you up to date on news and events in health and care management

Health secretary Victoria Atkins in Whitehall 2024

The health secretary's plans to cut 5,500 management jobs to fund community services if the Conservatives win the general election have been criticised as "not credible" by Labour and "paper thin" by MiP.

25 June 2024 | By MiP
Christine McAnea addressing striking NHS workers in Belfast

After months of industrial action, NHS workers in Northern Ireland have accepted a 5% pay offer for last year negotiated by health unions and the Department of Health.

05 April 2024 | By MiP
agenda_groupmeeting pic-1

NHS leaders must show how they are driving service improvement, delivering transformation, promoting equality and developing a just culture as part of new “competency framework” for directors introduced by NHS England this month.

04 April 2024 | By MiP
Man in street looking up at office buildings

Three-quarters of MiP members say NHS England's new hybrid working policy is more likely to damage productivity than improve it, according to a recent survey. Half say there isn't enough office space for staff to return to the office.

03 April 2024 | By MiP
Trainee hospital staff walking in a corridor

The latest NHS Staff Survey showed a modest improvement in staff morale, but found NHS workers were facing record levels of discrimination, and a significant proportion still plan to leave their jobs in the near future.

20 March 2024 | By MiP
English currency in notes and coins

MiP alongside 13 other health unions have called for an above inflation pay rise for all NHS staff.

12 February 2024 | By MiP
Copyright © 2022 MiP