Lessons in leadership from women clinical commissioners: practical guidance to support the next generation of women clinical leaders

This document provides advice for women from their peers and highlights the important contribution that women make to clinical leadership.

7 December 2016

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Lessons in leadership from women clinical commissioners aims to empower current and future women clinical commissioning leaders.

It provides practical advice based on the experience of women CCG leaders at the top of their careers. It was launched on the first anniversary of NHSCC’s report Women in clinical commissioning leadership – a case for change which called for the gender imbalance in clinical commissioning leadership to be tackled.

Gender inequality across the NHS remains a persistent problem – despite women making up 77 per cent of the healthcare workforce, they continue to be under represented in senior level positions of the NHS. In clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) just 37 per cent of those on governing bodies are women.

Lessons in leadership from women clinical commissioners contains practical examples from women clinical commissioning leaders on the skills, values, and behaviours that helped them to succeed in their own roles. These tips include:

  • recognise the qualities that make you a strong leader rather than adjusting to traditionally male models of leadership
  • relationships matter – seek mentorship and support from peers
  • consciously put yourself forward for new opportunities
  • remember that taking on leadership roles often affords greater flexibility, not less.

The publication also includes advice on supporting future women clinical commissioning leaders, including actively encouraging women colleagues to apply for leadership roles and making sure that wording in job adverts attracts rather than discourages female applicants.

This document builds on the transition guide for female medical leaders developed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM).