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The perceived bias in NHS finance

30 June 2016

More needs to be done to improve gender diversity in NHS finance departments, says a report from Future-Focused Finance.

While women make up two-thirds (62%) of the NHS finance workforce currently 26% are finance directors are female, a figure which has increased only slightly since 2009 when it was 21%.

The real worry is the number of women who believe the promotion processes are fair and based on merit. Just 43% of women thought they were fair.

Some 28% of female NHS staff also felt they were more likely to experience barriers to career progression than their male counterparts. This stops them applying for promotions and other positions.

Another problem is the fact that 71% of women working in NHS finance believe it would be harder for them to maintain a work-life balance if they moved into a more senior role.

The NHS’s chief finance officer, Paul Baumann said: “Diversity within the workforce, and in particular finance, can be used to drive business success, enabling organisations to become more successful, sustainable and better equipped to meet future challenges. A diverse leadership, which bears a good resemblance to the community which it serves, is better able to deliver patient-focused care. With its mission to ensure NHS finance is fully equipped to support the provision of high-quality patient care under increasingly challenging circumstances, FFF is spearheading this initiative to improve the finance function’s performance by bringing more diversity to its leadership.”

The report is called ‘Diversity in NHS Finance Leadership: beliefs, behaviours and barriers’

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