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Building Leadership For Inclusion

Across health and care, the workforce is increasingly diverse. For example, nearly 20% of the 1.3 million people that work in the NHS are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and 77% of the NHS workforce are women. Yet this diversity is significantly underrepresented in senior leadership roles.

Barriers also exist for both disabled employees and LGBT+ staff for whom workplace attitudes and cultures constitute significant obstacles to progress. There are, of course, other groups of people with protected characteristics defined within the Equalities Act 2010, as: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation, who find themselves in similar positions.

Recent reports by the King’s Fund and yearly NHS staff surveys, highlight that bullying, harassment and discrimination is still the daily norm for many staff with protected characteristics in the NHS.

The persistent discrimination described above is not acceptable, and therefore change is now a pressing requirement.

The Building Leadership for Inclusion vision is to radically challenge and transform leadership cultures across NHS funded services, shifting existing leadership approaches, attitudes and behaviours in order to place inclusion and equality at the very heart of how ‘good leadership’ is defined across health and care systems in England.

This work involves all key stakeholders across health and care systems to promote and facilitate compassionate, inclusive and effective leadership at all levels, ensuring that all staff, particularly those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act, feel safe, empowered, valued and able to express themselves, and to deliver effective, compassionate health care to people from all backgrounds.

So how can you help?

Senior Influencers Groups have been established with the aim of  drawing together individuals with protected characteristics who are in positions of influence and leadership across the healthcare system. These groups will lead change, and ensure that the voices of those who are most negatively affected by discrimination and exclusion are situated at the centre Building Leadership for Inclusion programme of work and its emergent strategies for change. There are four groups representing the four protected characteristics in the initial phase of the programme of work.

  • Senior BAME Influencers
  • Senior Disability Influencers
  • Senior LGBT+ Influencers
  • Senior Women Influencers

Membership of these groups will be drawn from leaders across the health and care system and each group will work to develop a work plan aligned to the strategic aims. Members will have a responsibility to engage with the wider workforce at all levels within their own organisations and systems, to ensure that the proposals and recommendations they put forward are representative of the people whose voices need to be heard.

If you are interested in taking part in any of the groups please email - dates can be found below:


SWIG - Senior Women Influencers

SDIG -  Senior Disability Influencers

SBAMEIG - Senior BAME Influencers

SLGBY+IG - Senior LGBT+ Influencers