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Free mentoring: bid to boost diversity in senior nursing roles

Support for Filipino nurses hoping for career progression to UK profession’s top jobs
woman in a formal meeting shakes hands

Filipino nurses are largely absent from board positions in UK healthcare, but one nurse has enlisted mentors willing to give their time to nurture future nurse leaders from this under-represented group

A mentoring scheme is attempting to boost representation of Filipino nurses at senior levels in the NHS and care home sector.

The informal programme, which started last month, has 61 participants so far and offers them six months free online mentorship on topics including CV writing and interview skills, leadership and networking. Mentors include trust chief executives and academics, who give their time free.

Under-representation at the senior management level

Filipino nurses in the UK are markedly under-represented in leadership roles, despite being the second largest workforce group

Filipino nurses are largely absent from board positions in UK healthcare, but one nurse has enlisted mentors willing to give their time to nurture future nurse leaders from this under-represented group

woman shakes hands in boardroom
Picture: iStock

A mentoring scheme is attempting to boost representation of Filipino nurses at senior levels in the NHS and care home sector.

The informal programme, which started last month, has 61 participants so far and offers them six months’ free online mentorship on topics including CV writing and interview skills, leadership and networking. Mentors include trust chief executives and academics, who give their time free.

Under-representation at the senior management level

Filipino nurses in the UK are markedly under-represented in leadership roles, despite being the second largest workforce group by nationality in England’s NHS.

‘How can you say you are inclusive and diverse if the decision-makers do not reflect those who are working on the front line?

Francis Fernando, founder, Filipino Nurses Association UK

There are 15,397 Filipino nurses in the health service in England and, according to Filipino Nurses Association UK founder Francis Fernando, who set up the pairings, there are only 22 Filipino nurses at band 8b.

Francis Fernando

Of the 227 permanent chief nurses or their equivalents at NHS trusts in England, it is believed that only 10 to 15 are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. None is Filipino, or of Filipino heritage, although one Filipino nurse will be acting up as a chief nurse until May.

‘Filipinos should be represented at board level’

Mr Fernando told Nursing Standard: ‘How can you say you are inclusive and diverse if the decision-makers do not reflect those who are working on the front line?

‘If we are to truly make decisions that affect the largest group of foreign nurses in the NHS, then Filipinos should be represented at board level.’

Potential mentors and eligible nurses seeking mentorship can email Mr Fernando at francis.fernando2@nhs.net or via his Twitter account.


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