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RCP Global – supporting women in healthcare globally to unleash their potential

RCP Global is working in collaboration with the RCP Education team to launch a pilot Global Women Leaders Programme. The programme aims to address the imbalance in leadership opportunities for women in healthcare globally.

Women represent more than 70% of the global healthcare workforce, however, statistics show scale for improvement:

  • less than 5% are senior healthcare leaders in low-and middle-income countries
  • less than 25% are senior healthcare leaders in high-income countries
  • less than 15% are senior academics.

A range of barriers to a women’s advancement in healthcare globally has been identified, including work–life balance, stereotypes, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, power imbalance, and privilege. ‘This disparity negatively impacts health outcomes for women and children worldwide’ explains Dr Mumtaz Patel, vice president RCP Global.

Mumtaz continues: ‘The Global Women Leaders programme is being developed to motivate and inspire women to take on leadership roles within their healthcare organisations. Historically, women who have been identified as sitting at the top of organisations have been known to change culture, improve organisational performance and patient care.’

Women leaders often expand the health agenda, strengthening healthcare for all. The programme aims to highlight the importance of this and create a more balanced and ethnically diverse team of healthcare leaders globally.

This will be achieved by:

  • empowering and inspiring women to advance into healthcare leadership roles
  • promoting system and organisational change to preserve female talent
  • implementing gender-specific leadership training
  • mentoring and connecting women from across the world
  • preserving female talent, ideas, and knowledge.

This programme will target female trainees at key transitional points in their healthcare careers. Female and male trainers will be developed into local champions to support the trainees, and drive organisational system change, promoting women into senior leadership positions.

Supporting the development of the programme has been women healthcare leaders, professor Zainab Ali – consultant cardiologist at Aka Khan University who assisted in the arrangement of key focus groups, Dr Iffat Zaffar – CEO of Sehat Kehani who supported the RCP Global International Women’s Day webinar in 2021 – available to watch via RCP Player, and Dr Somia Iqtadar – secretary general of the Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine.

Speaking about the programme’s development, Mumtaz commented: ‘The RCP has been addressing the challenge of how to motivate and inspire women towards leadership roles as a key strategic goal. I am very passionate about supporting the development of our future women leaders in medicine. I am keen to narrow the gender leadership gap globally, and support women to achieve their potential.’

A pilot of the programme will be running in Pakistan – which is amongst the worst performing countries in terms of gender equality.

For more information, or to get involved in supporting the Global Women Leaders Programme email: global@rcp.ac.uk