Celebrating International Women’s Day

Posted: 07/03/24

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Women are an invaluable part of the NHS, making up three quarters of the organisation’s workforce.

This year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion. Inspire Inclusion is about creating a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

When women are inspired to be included, it brings a sense of belonging and empowerment. The aim of this year’s campaign is to collectively forge a more inclusive world for women. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion.

This International Women’s Day, we’ve asked some of the incredible women at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) about what inclusion means to them.

Emma Silver Price – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer

10 years ago, I left my home, friends and family in South Africa to start a new life in the UK. I was 20 years old and had moved to a new continent by myself, with nothing but £1,000 in my pocket that I had earned waitressing.

I was born and raised in South Africa right when Apartheid was abolished and have seen first-hand the devastating effects of discrimination. My life experiences have always fuelled my passion for equality, diversity and inclusion, and I continue to ingrain this through every strand of my life.

I do this by acknowledging that I can never truly walk in someone else’s shoes and by recognising the lived experience of those around me. This means I can bring many different viewpoints to the tables I am privileged enough to sit at.

I champion inclusion within CNTW every day in my role as Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer. I have the pleasure of working across many different departments and meeting the many extremely inspiring staff we have within the organisation. I use my lived experience and the experiences of those around me to continuously add to my knowledge, whilst constantly striving to better myself.

I have lived and learned a whole lot over the past decade. I have also lost and gained along the way. I will never underestimate the courage it takes to leave everything behind in search of better opportunities. In the spirit of inspiring inclusion, my favourite quote that I carry with me in everyday life is, “For all the tables that refuse to seat us, we’ll build new tables and pull up a seat for everyone who arrives after us.” – Rupi Kaur


Monica DSouza – Clinical Nurse Educator

I was reading an article titled ‘Why is nursing considered a female profession?’. The history goes that caregiving and nurturing are perceived as primarily female pursuits and therefore nursing is seen as a female job. This has evolved over the years and we have seen an influx of enthusiastic males joining and adding value to this humble profession.

But what has changed for the women in this profession? It has added to their professional recognition but at the end of the day, many women have to go back and play a vital role to being a mother, a wife or a carer for her family. This can mean women undermine their potential to move into higher leadership roles.

Over the years, my conversations with the majority of my female colleagues are to ascertain their potential and whether they are happy where they are. We talk about how to break the cycle of stagnation and how to achieve this both in the short and long term. I follow a ‘leave no one behind’ outlook and believe everyone needs to be supported and equipped to walk as equals in life.