During a routine programme review at The King’s Fund in 2016, questions were raised as to whether we still needed our flagship Athena programme for senior women leaders. Hasn’t the glass ceiling already been broken by a number of women?
In traditionally male-dominated industries women are making progress: Karren Brady is vice-chair of West Ham Football Club, Angela Knight is a former Chief Executive of the British Bankers’ Association and Cressida Dick has just been appointed as Scotland Yard’s Commissioner – the first time a woman has held the post in the Yard’s 188-year history. But while individual women are making progress, a closer look at the statistics reveals there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender balance.
In a NHS where 77 per cent of the workforce are women, only 37 per cent of board-level positions are held by women. Developing women’s leadership remains at the heart of addressing this. At The King’s Fund, we have just completed the first three-day module of our revamped Athena programme with 25 senior women working across the UK health and care landscape.
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