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Women outnumbered in nursing’s top jobs

Men fill two thirds of leading roles despite nine out of ten nurses being female, claims report.
Jane Cummings

England’s chief nurse has said leadership talent must be nurtured early, as a new report draws fresh attention to gender imbalance at the top of the nursing workforce.

The Women in Nursing report from Randstad Care claims nearly two-thirds of the sector’s top jobs are occupied by men, despite nine out of ten nurses being women.

Chief nursing officer (CNO) for England Jane Cummings said developing leaders at all levels was one of her priorities.

Increasing opportunities

Professor Cummings said: ‘The NHS has a clear target to achieve gender balanced boards by 2020.

‘There are increasing opportunities for nurses to progress in leadership roles, but we need to nurture talent early.

‘The potential in our workforce to manage the challenges of today and shape the future should not be underestimated.’

The report also draws attention to a 14% pay gap in the nursing workforce

England’s chief nurse has said leadership talent must be nurtured early, as a new report draws fresh attention to gender imbalance at the top of the nursing workforce.

The Women in Nursing report from Randstad Care claims nearly two-thirds of the sector’s top jobs are occupied by men, despite nine out of ten nurses being women.

Chief nursing officer (CNO) for England Jane Cummings said developing leaders at all levels was one of her priorities.

Increasing opportunities

Professor Cummings said: ‘The NHS has a clear target to achieve gender balanced boards by 2020.

‘There are increasing opportunities for nurses to progress in leadership roles, but we need to nurture talent early.

‘The potential in our workforce to manage the challenges of today and shape the future should not be underestimated.’

The report also draws attention to a 14% pay gap in the nursing workforce between men and women.

Address differentials

RCN research and innovation manager Ann McMahon said she had concerns about the report’s suggestion that women’s confidence holds them back.

‘It is not helpful to place the onus on individual women to address the gender inequality gap.

‘If organisations genuinely want to retain and promote women in the workplace, they will have to address the pay differential first and foremost.’

Dr McMahon added that the RCN’s work on building nursing capability in economic assessment was empowering for nurses.


Further information

Randstad Care report – Women in Nursing

RCN work on building nursing capability in economic assessment

Nursing Standard analysis

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