06 March 2019

International Women's Day 2019: Why is balance better?

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights, a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity both in and out of the workplace.

Gender inequality and discrimination against women in the workplace have been a problem for many years - on a global scale. The situation in the UK is slowly improving, but many efforts still need to be made to achieve a better balance.

A forward-thinking business and innovator, Newcross Healthcare is streets ahead of its corporate peers and competitors judging by global trends and reports regarding gender balance in healthcare leadership.

According to a new report by global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, women are sorely underrepresented in healthcare leadership. They make up only 30% of C-suite executives and 13% of CEOs in the US.

In March 2018, NHS Employers and NHS Improvement released the report NHS Women on Boards: 50:50 by 2020. Written by Professor Ruth Sealy of the University of Exeter Business School, it showed that the proportion of women on boards across trust was 42.6%, while it was 39.5% on CCG boards.

Given that 77% of the NHS’s workforce is female, the lack of women in senior roles is surprising and NHS boards in England need another 500 women to achieve parity. 

In contrast, at Newcross Healthcare, women are well-represented throughout all tiers of the business, including senior management and operational positions.

We asked Newcross Healthcare's co-founder, Michelle, director Tracy, and some of its female senior managers: "Why is balance in the workplace better?"

Michelle Gorringe RN, Co-Founder and Managing Director 


"I am proud to be the co-founder of a successful, growing, quality-renowned company that has a predominantly female workforce at all levels of seniority. Gender is not part of our selection criteria and never has been. We have always prioritised who we believe is better for the role.

"I believe that Newcross benefits on all levels from having a natural selection approach: males and females working together in a productive partnership challenging the status quo with a focused strategy to improve the delivery of healthcare through innovation and a united belief that there must be a better way." 

Tracy O'Kennedy, Employee Experience Director


"In my role as Employee Experience Director, one of three females on a board of five, I'm responsible for all 7500 People who contribute to Newcross's ongoing success. For twenty-plus years, I have worked as both a senior leader and director in healthcare, home improvements and automotive industries, cutting my teeth as the only female in a very male-dominated world.

"Reflecting on my career, I recall how gender imbalance in the boardroom often led to aggressive in-fighting, where ultra-competitive males fought against each other. Sometimes, rather than for the good of the business. However, I do also recall many moments of clarity and realisation when my female contribution offered an interesting alternative perspective, that led to a more balanced and, dare I say it, ‘human’ decision being taken.

"My character/behavioural traits include high dominance and influence as well as quality and process, traits not often associated with women, but my driving force is to deliver effective business outcomes based on love and trust, which can only be generated via truth.  

"In my ten years at Newcross Healthcare, we've  built a balanced and well-respected senior leadership team who offer a broad range of experience and behavioural traits, all of which make a valuable, challenging and innovative contribution."

Kelly-Marie Harris, Head of Apprenticeships 


"It’s coming up seven years that I’ve had the pleasure of working for Newcross Healthcare and after returning to work after my second child. I am now taking on my next career challenge - heading the Apprenticeship Services and launching our new EPA Service. Just like other women who want it all, I’ve had my share of struggles in striking the right work-life balance and remaining professionally visible. But as they say 'resilience is one of the greatest strengths of a woman!'

"Having previously worked in a male-dominated industry where the power struggles regarding gender-equality were a daily occurrence, I will always remember those days good and bad as they did help shape me as both a leader and mother. It was tough, relentless, and expectations were that if you want to be treated as equal then get yourself a house husband and focus your efforts on work! That business is no longer trading...

"Coming to Newcross was such a breath of fresh air. Over the years has had such a transformational impact on my work-life balance, with the concept of no matter your gender/role if you need support either personally or professionally to succeed you will get it!  I am proud to be part of a leadership team that challenges the status quo of gender in roles, by recognising individuals for their strengths to build the successful business it is today and all this whilst fully embracing a family culture.

"So in summary from a working couple who both hold senior-level positions-  yes we do 'book' date nights and have a family outlook calendar to make sure the boys have one of us about for 'world book day costume rehearsal' but on the flip side I love nothing more than to hear my husband and also my male colleagues speak about the challenges of being a working dad like it is a badge of honour!  

"Mums, dads, males, females my advice choose an organisation that embraces the differences in all and challenges the norm. Only you can change your future."

Juliette Millard, Head of Clinical Governance 


"Gender balance is better in the workplace because it brings greater diversity, different points of view and improves collaboration."

Di Ainsworth, Regional Operations Manager 


"Acknowledging that men and women are at the same level in the workplace is the first step to creating preofessional balance. We all have strengths and weaknesses - it is not a question of whether you are male, female or trans - we are equal.  Striking a balance is refreshing, energising and uplifting. I believe at Newcross we have struck this balance.  

"Gender balance is a frequent topic in our household and with two sons aged 14 & 19  they don't see a gender difference,  maybe because I have held a position in senior management for the last fifteen years, so to them this is the norm.   Outside of my world there is still a stark difference and it is up to women like me to shout out about why we are equally able to hold a senior management position or be on a board

"We are pretty unique at Newcross, we are led by a woman and I am in a team of 6, 5 of which are women.    Born in Manchester I have a connection to Emily Pankhurst, a normal woman fighting for women's rights. Just look how far we have come.  Hats off to Emily and all the women in the world working towards an equal future."

Mandy Hamilton, Senior Regional Operations Manager 


"Its created value for our external clients, strengthen our organisation and improved executive decision-making leading us to become more innovative." 

Thanks to Michelle, Tracy, Kelly-Marie, Juliette, Di and Mandy for sharing. 

Why do you think gender balance in the workplace is better? Let us know in the comments section. 

For more insights, click here.