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 are from minority ethnic groups 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 such as CIO roles across 233 trusts. We are helping the NHS develop a leadership pipeline that more closely reflects our workforce – something NHS England, NHS Digital and ICSs have pledged to do.
We now have over 2300 members and allies from all backgrounds including underrepresented groups in digital leadership such as nurses, social workers and AHPs. Organizations including trusts and NHS Digital 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:
“I’ve never been so excited to be in digital and clinical informatics!” Charlee Martin, Shuri member
“What an amazing group !” Navina Evans, Chief Workforce Officer, NHS England.
“A real pleasure to be amongst inspiring women from minority ethnic groups and to celebrate the remarkable success of the Shuri Network a year on! ” Sonia Patel, System CIO & Director of Levelling Up, NHS England.
“Joining the Shuri Network is a game-changer. Before, I was content with just doing my job, now I am keen to do more, to be part of the digital transformation and be a change-maker.” Rodaluz Trinidad, Shuri Fellow
” I am having the time of my life. Shuri is the best thing that has changed my perception of career progression. I have reached out to senior people who are pushing me to develop and I now have sponsorship for further education in digital health. Thank you!” Kerenhappuch Tazvivi, Shuri Fellow.
“The Shuri Network has been my rock” Anna Awoliyi, Shuri member and CNIO, Epsom and St Hellier NHS Trust.
“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.