The NHS 10-year plan states that “the NHS draws on a remarkably rich diversity of people to provide care to our patients. But we fall short in valuing their contributions and ensuring fair treatment and respect.”
20% of the NHS workforce is BAME and 77% are women. We all use technology daily to care for patients, and this has become even more crucial during the Covid19 crisis. However, there are less than 20 women of colour in senior digital leadership roles across 233 trusts. We are helping the NHS develop a leadership pipeline that more closely reflects our workforce – something Simon Stevens has also pledged to do.
We now have over 1000 members from all backgrounds including underrepresented groups in digital leadership such as nurses, social workers and AHPs. Organisations including trusts and NHSX have sought our advice on recruitment in order to improve equality. We provide women of colour with a voice and a platform to progress into leadership roles.
The Network was founded by Dr Shera Chok and Sarah Amani in 2019. We were Chief Clinical Information Officers and realised that over the last decade there have only been a handful of women of colour in similar roles. As diverse teams are more creative, productive, attract the most talented people and are associated with better patient experience, we decided to change the balance. In this short video, Dr Ijeoma Azodo, one of our members talks about the Network and what we want to achieve: https://himsstv.brightcovegallery.com/detail/videos/hett/video/6114329022001/new-network-seeks-to-promote-diversity-in-digital-health?autoStart=true
Feedback from our members and allies:
“A brilliant network.” Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement.
“What an amazing group !” Navina Evans, Chief Executive, Health Education England.
“A real pleasure to be amongst inspiring BAME women and to celebrate the remarkable success of the Shuri Network a year on! ” Sonia Patel, CIO, NHSX.
“Excited to be working alongside the Shuri Network, Sonia Patel and NHSX. Looking forward to conversations on creating and increasing opportunities for digital nurse leaderships roles.” Ronke Adejolu, Topol Fellow and Associate CNIO, NHSX.
” Wow congrats!! I was immediately a fan when I saw this group on LinkedIn. I straight away said ‘I am Shuri!’ Let me join this group and learn. #wakandaness.” Belinda Chipo, NHS nurse and Shuri member.
“Inclusion and equality of opportunity in recruitment to digital roles is going to be central, and senior leaders will need to act on this and also engage with opportunities like the Shuri Network Fellowships.” Dr Gareth Thomas, National Clinical Director NHSX and Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia.