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Inspire Inclusion – International Women’s Day 2024

International Women's Day 2024 takes place today Friday 8th March. This year’s campaign theme is 'Inspire Inclusion'.  

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment. Collectively, let's forge a more inclusive world for women. 


We invited some of our female colleagues to share what their stand-out moments that make them feel proud are. Here’s what they had to say:  


Sandra Crook: Having my children and Grandchildren and professionally being promoted to manage the facilities department. 


Claudette Jones: There are a number of moments, events and actions that I am proud of, but proactively helping to influence change within my Organisation and witness tangible changes within our structures, strategic direction and processes is a massive achievement. My background in Nursing and Research means that I have a strong focus on evidence based clinical service improvements as this ensure that we are always innovating to be able to provide the best standard of care and service for our patient and stakeholders. I am equality passionate about staff wellbeing and the environment in which colleagues practice and provide care. I strongly believe that we need to push above the boundaries to find a balance where people have a voice that counts, able to speak up about anything that prevents them from doing a good job and happy at work where they spend a lot of their time. In order to help achieve this I devote my time between nursing, provides professional Freedom to Speak up Guardian service to the Trust and Chair the Equality and Diversity Network within the Organisation. 


Jo Williams: Being appointed as CEO and awarded a Honorary Doctorate at BCU!! 


Amanda Gaston: I am most proud of becoming a qualified accountant. I joined the NHS straight after university. I was studying alongside working and also during that time some big life events happened too; buying my first house and getting married, even sitting some exams a week before the wedding! I was getting to grips with the world of work, learning how to live independently and plan for a wedding, at the same time as studying for professional accountancy exams. 


Vickie Pring: Graduating from university with a degree in Computer Science 


Coralie Duff: I achieved my Masters in Healthcare Leadership after losing my husband and becoming a lone parent when my son was two, graduating when he was four. During this time I also secured my first senior operational management position. I am proud that I have shown my son that I can support us and he has not held me back in my career or from obtaining my goals. 


Liza Tharakan: There are quite a few and it would be unfair to single any one out! Professionally, pain medicine is a specialty where treatment options are limited and as a pain physician I feel proud when patients’ pain symptoms are relieved instantly following an injection or procedure and their many months or years of agony is instantly relieved.  

Personally, as a mother, I am over the moon when my children tell me I am the best mum in the world! The cherry on the cake is I don't have to bribe them. But the sceptic in me tells me to wait till they are teenagers, they are only 8 and 4 now! 


Jools Gross: Having my Mama watch me graduate from university! It has always been me and her and she worked so hard to be the best Mama. She went to university and worked part time when I was tiny to give us the best life. She is my inspiration, what a woman! 


Jennifer Pearson: So many moments …I have been very lucky, so here are some of them below not in any particular order  

  • Becoming a mother  
  • Watching my daughter graduate 
  • Living in Australia making lifelong friends and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef  
  • Holidaying in Jamaica and surprising the locals in a market when they realised I understood Patois. 
  • Nursing my terminally ill father was a privilege. 
  • Witnessing my mother forget those she loved because of the cruel disease that is dementia.  
  • Being a birth partner to an internally educated nurse recently and advocating for her.  
  • Working in intensive care during the second wave of the pandemic and witnessing intense teamwork and deep compassion for patients.  
  • Being named in the HSJ as one of the top 50 bubbling under top 50 Health care BAME most influential BAME leaders Nov 2023 and being voted BAME Nurse of the Year 
  • Contributing to an international guide for wound care 
  • Watching two cohorts form the nationally acclaimed leadership programme I co-designed literally like watching acorns grow to become huge beautiful trees 
  • Dancing with Johannes Radebe from Strictly – such a beautiful soul