Women in Healthcare Leadership

Women in Healthcare Leadership Project Pledge

As part of the HLA, a team of current scholars and faculty members are running a project in support of Women in Healthcare Leadership (WIHL).

In 2020 gender and opportunity equality remain topics of fervent debate. The National Health Service (NHS) is facing the challenges of poor staff retention, ever increasing demand and changing demographics of service users. Balanced clinical leadership is required to ensure the NHS can continue to deliver patient centered care and support its employees.

This timely project provides opportunity to pose questions, invite open discussion and create a bank of resources for women aspiring to become leaders in healthcare.

WIHL 100 word Project

The WIHL Project are taking on the 100 word project!

Please join us @100wordproject on both Twitter and Instagram, where we will be celebrating 100 inspirational women in leadership roles over 100 days.

The campaign started on the 30th November 2019 and rans until 8th March 2020. On Day 100 we wrote a piece in the BMJ blog to celebrate International Women’s Day and the end of the Women In Healthcare Leadership 100 Word Project.


Our objectives are three-fold.

1. Firstly to assess the current state of play.

How many women hold leadership roles? Is this reflective of the NHS’ workforce? If not, why? Are women just less interested? Or are there boundaries? If so, what are they, when do they present themselves and what solutions can be proposed?

2. Secondly to create informative and inspirational material.

With the HLA’s backing and network, we hope to curate a series of interactive blogs and/or articles to engage an audience in debate and invite prominent leaders to share their journeys.

3. Finally and most importantly we want to impact change.

The team is extremely driven to ensure this is not merely a discursive project. Once we have completed our research, analysis and collated first hand requests we want to propose tangible solutions. Though the process of identifying barriers can feel virtuous, the time to act must really be now.

In summary our objective is simple; to ensure all who desire have the opportunity, training and support to pursue a leadership role to ensure we equip the NHS with representative and discerning leaders of the future.

Our Team


Carina Dowson

Project Co-ordinator

Carina is an Acute Medicine higher specialty trainee in the North East of England. She is undertaking her Masters in Medical Leadership and is a current HLA scholar. She is passionate about improving LTFT/flexible working and is the Chair of the LTFT forum within Health Education England (NE). She is excited to be part of the WIHL project this year; building on the project’s previous work on highlighting and tackling barriers, which prevent women from achieving leadership roles.


Rafia Miah

Outreach Lead

Rafia Miah is a 4th year medical student at the University of Southampton, with a previous degree in Pharmacology. She has a passion for women’s health, global health and gender based violence. As a HLA scholar, she is excited to develop her interests in empowering women in leadership and pursuing a career in academic medicine.


Kathryn French


Kathryn is an ACF in Oral Surgery in Bristol. She is currently balancing basic science research into the foreign body response with speciality training and motherhood. She hopes to use her HLA scholarship to build an inspiring and supporting network of fellow female academic clinicians.


Hazel Awarah


Hazel is a 3rd year medical student at the University of Exeter. She has a keen interest in research and wishes to use this research to find out why women in healthcare are not taking up leadership positions.


Shivani Mahapatra



Jennifer Ilonze


Jennifer is a Paediatric Trainee doctor at the Health Education England North East deanery. She is a member of the British Medical Association. She has a keen interest in global health and healthcare leadership and is currently a scholar of the Healthcare Leadership Academy which aims to nurture leadership, foster frontline innovation and empower the next generation of clinical leaders.


Lauren Leightell-Brown

Communication Lead


Pooja Jassal-Prior


Pooja is currently working as core medical trainee with an aim to specialise in dermatology. She is dual qualified in both medicine and dentistry. She is a scholar at the Healthcare Leadership Academy and has an interest in medical leadership. She feels privileged to be part of such an important project and hopes it will serve to motivate, inspire and facilitate the future female leaders in medicine.


Eleanor Budge


Eleanor Budge is a junior doctor based in London. Her clinical interests lie in anaesthesia and peri operative medicine. During her time at the HLA she hopes to gain insight into the attributes required for good clinical leadership and have opportunity to develop these skills in this role. She is passionate about effecting change and challenging the barriers to women in healthcare leadership.

Connect with WIHL

Or contact us directly at: wihl@www.thehealthcareleadership.academy