International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March): Kim Teasdale

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Mar 6, 2024

As International Women’s Day approaches, Kim Teasdale, Head of Analytics – Project Analytics and Insight at NECS, reflects on her successful career and all of the inspiring women and role models she has met in the NHS and learnt from, along the way.

“As I sit here thinking about my time in NECS and my NHS journey over the last 23 years, I feel a strong mix of emotions, including a lot of nostalgia at remembering key colleagues and managers who have inspired me along the way. I also feel proud thinking about all the achievements the teams I have either worked in, or lead, have accomplished. As International Women’s Day marks the important contribution women make to society, I ponder what role women in the NHS have played in me being where I am now. “I started off my NHS career as an internal Information Management & Technology auditor, working for a large North East Trust with most of the audit team being female. However, as I had a more technical audit area, there tended to be more men involved, both from our team and the client side. IT has always been seen as quite a male dominated field, and I remember being in meetings feeling out of my depth, hoping no-one would discover that I was still learning my trade as an auditor. Thankfully I was supported by those in my team, and instead of feeling intimidated, I chose to learn and develop as quickly as I could, but I soon realised that I wanted to be delivering an impact, rather than audit it.

“Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.”
– Madame Marie du Deffand.

“I then moved into health informatics as an analyst and was soon promoted to run a small team in a Primary Care Trust (I’m now showing my age!). In this role, I met and was managed by one of the most inspiring women I have been lucky enough to meet in my career. I learnt a lot from her, she was strong yet fair and extremely hard working. Her natural curiosity around informatics stemmed from her previously being an analyst. She asked the right challenging questions to ensure we did insightful analytical work, that supported effective health care delivery decisions that needed to be made. I am still lucky to have her as a friend today, and throughout our different roles over the years, it has been fascinating to see how our paths have crossed, in what feels like the small place of the NHS in the North East.

“My role in analytics gave me a strong foundation in all roles I did following that. I moved into Practice Based Commissioning and then worked for a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for five years as a Commissioning Manager before moving to NECS. I have the fondest of memories walking around our office wearing a hard hat, just before starting my CCG role. After significant organisational change in the NHS, we had come out of the other side. I was discussing and arranging who would be sitting where with our Head of Operations, at the time, it was just me, her and one member of her old team. We built the team we needed and wanted, doing everything from recruitment to IT and estates management, and I loved it. She was kind, caring yet ruthlessly efficient and driven. Again, an amazing learning opportunity for me, and gut wrenching to leave five years later, but I had to move on. Nothing in the NHS stays the same, but it is how you deal with change that happens to you as well as recognising when you need to change what you are doing that really drives you forward.

“And so, I came to NECS, and sitting here in my Head of Analytics role, I genuinely strive to put into action all those traits I was lucky enough to see and learn from during my career. I’m still learning every day; my latest hobby is Ladies Cricket. I have been inspired by strong and courageous women and men, providing role models for me to help and guide my journey as a leader of my team, to continue to grow and develop in the ever-changing NHS.”

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all her gifts.”
– Nancy Rathburn