International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March): Ailsa Nokes

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Mar 7, 2024

Ailsa Nokes, Director of Service Optimisation at NECS talks about her experiences as a woman working in the NHS, how finding the right work life balance is important and promoting a gender diversity in NECS, this International Women’s Day.

“Ensuring gender diversity in the workplace is important so that organisations do not miss out on a wide range of voices, opinions, life experiences, and skills. Where organisations actively promote diversity and inclusivity this has been shown to attract and retain staff who feel valued and respected for their unique contributions.

“For women in the workplace, despite much progress towards equality, they still face a number of challenges including being under-represented in leadership positions and sometimes being subject to gender stereotypes and unconscious bias, which can influence recruitment, promotion and experiences at work.

“From a personal perspective, my own experience as a woman working in the NHS, has been very positive, with great support from managers, colleagues and family over the years, to ensure I have felt included and supported to fulfil my role to the best of my ability and having access to opportunities to progress by career. Currently I’m working in an interim director role in NECS, which has been a fantastic opportunity to add another female voice to the executive team. In this role, I can draw on not just my professional skills, but also my experiences as a woman, a mother and a daughter, which have shaped my work journey over the years.

“For all of us, juggling work and life can be challenging, particularly for those of us with childcare, family, and caring responsibilities. Whilst this isn’t exclusive to women, evidence suggests that women often face societal expectations to be primary caregivers which can impact on their working lives.

“Navigating the world of work with family life can be tricky and pressured. None of us need extra pressure, but as leaders and managers in NECS, I believe it’s really important that we encourage all our people to feel empowered to discuss any support they may need in their role, to ensure they maintain a healthy work life balance.

“On International Women’s Day (8 March), I am keen to ensure we promote and encourage gender diversity within NECS and create an inclusive workplace for everyone.”