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TUC women's conference: CSP warns that women are under-represented in senior NHS positions

15 March 2013 - 11:13am

It is ‘morally and democratically wrong’ and society is wasting a ‘vast pool of talent’ in not ensuring more women are appointed to senior jobs physiotherapy delegate Kim Gainsborough told the TUC women’s conference yesterday.

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Kim Gainsborough, Eva Kennerley, Carrie Marr and Kate Moran at the TUC women's conference. Photo: Janina Struk

Moving a CSP motion on the representation of women in public life she said that she had been ‘dismayed, disheartened and depressed’ when she read the findings of the report ‘Sex and Power 2013: Who Runs Britain’ by the campaigning organisation Counting Women In.

The report showed that Britain is falling behind other countries in terms of the percentage of women legislators and that only 36 per cent of public appointments are women.

‘We know that when women have the chance to take up a senior position they regularly excel, outperforming their male colleagues. But even in sectors dominated by women we still repeatedly find that they are under-represented at the top.’

‘This is true in the NHS where only a third of chief executives are women despite making up nearly three quarters of the total NHS workforce,’ she said.

She called on conference delegates to ‘renew and redouble’ their efforts ‘to stop this backward slide for women.’

‘We need to remove the barriers that are preventing women from full participation in society. We need more opportunities for flexible and part time working in senior positions. We need organisations to carry out regular equal pay audits. We need organisations to tackle unconscious bias towards women,’ Ms Gainsborough said.

‘All these steps have been shown to have a direct benefit in increasing the number of women in senior positions and helping them to progress to senior management jobs,’ she added.

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