This International Women’s Day celebrates gender balance and Nina Monckton the Chief Insight (Data) Officer from Newcastle-based NHSBSA, talks about her experience working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) where women are typically underrepresented.
From student placements at the start of their careers to senior management, women at NHSBSA are celebrating this year’s theme ‘Balance for Better’.
The campaign aims to build a gender balanced world, including gender balance among employees and in the boardroom.
Nina, who won the Transformation Leader of the Year Award at the Women in IT Awards recently, said: “The NHS is a good employer for working parents. I have four children and found the maternity leave and pay to be generous in comparison to private sector. NHSBSA provides flexible working and childcare vouchers which has helped me with my work life balance.
“On the rare occasions where I’ve felt that I’ve faced barriers as a woman it has been from individuals rather than organisations; people do sometimes make assumptions about working mothers, such as reduced levels of commitment to work, which of course is not right.”
“The technology sector is renowned for being male dominated and it’s evident when I attend conferences and training. It is rare that more than one or two women will be speaking at technology conferences. Technology has an increasing role in what we do in daily life. Women are at a disadvantage in competing for these increasing technology roles by not studying STEM subjects. I wonder, are we making the future employability case clearly enough to girls?”
“Even the terminology and language used in IT is very male orientated, for example the term ‘scrum master’, hardly a welcoming invitation for women applicants. It’s a shame as it would be good to have more females in the recruitment pool in Britain but by only appealing to males, posts are being restricted.”
Abigail is on placement at NHSBSA as a content designer from university. She said: “I would definitely think about working here at NHSBSA in the future. I’ve gained a lot of experience and the people here are very supportive. It’s made me very interested in the role that I do.” Her colleague Natasha, added: “Being on placement rather than going straight into a job role makes you more confident and it makes you feel like you have the skills to do a job.”
Nina said: “Hopefully, showcasing women doing great work in this sector will inspire more girls to study STEM subjects and encourage women already in IT to pursue leadership roles.”