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Monday 23rd April 2018

The NHS 'wasting' talent

27th August 2010

Blair McPherson, a former senior manager in a large local authority and author of People Management in a Harsh Financial Climate, says the NHS needs to recognise it is wasting talent.


Fewer than 30% of consultants in the NHS are women, when they make up two thirds of doctors.

Apparently this isn’t prejudice, it’s just that women do not put themselves forward for these posts – a justification spouted across the NHS and the public sector.

We’re in an era where no-one says women cannot do these top jobs, but they just don’t want them.

This is complacency by major organisations.

In a typical public sector organisation, women make up 80% of the workforce but only 20% of senior managers.

In my own small survey of 50 women managers in a large local authority, women stated they rarely came across overt discrimination but said they did not seek top jobs because of long hours, family commitments or a perceived macho management style.

None felt their career opportunities had been restricted by overt discrimination or prejudice.

But at a time we face major challenges, we seem content to waste 50% of our most talented people because they are not prepared to fit in with the way we have traditionally operated.

If the NHS wants to make the most of the talent it has then it needs to convince individuals their skills are valued - for example by showing it is serious about job shares for top jobs.

Organisations need to judge people by what they deliver, spot those who inspire their staff and show leadership skills. They should then do something about this talent they are wasting.


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Thursday 30th September 2010 @ 1:22

Women working in all but the very highest paid jobs cannot work without the family being compromised by circumstances. Job sharing was never properly thought through as a professional working mother I put family first and have been infuriated when trying to speak to my part time solicitor or familiar doctor only to find that they are away accommodating family needs and the others are not 'familiar' with my notes so either I get a second class response or have to wait while family needs come first.
There needs to be a total rethink and men should take the lead when family are young and women have the lead when last child is atleast 10yrs old. Unless you have nanny or live in help it is the whole family and clients who suffer. Biologically women are wise to have children younger commit to 'family' then have their turn and father can stay home as/if decided by family. It is only now that the cracks in women trying to have all is begining to show all its problems.

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