HEA.FIN.194 International Woman's Day - web banner_banners FINAL

To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re exploring how coaching and mentoring is supporting the career development of women in NHS finance. 

We asked senior women leaders in NHS Finance and beyond to share their story about role models, particularly female role models, who supported their career development. Here’s what they had to say.


Pam Dyson
HFMA Executive Coach

My career started because of the strong, realistic and persistent encouragement and support that I got from my Mum. I would not have had the courage to choose a career path down “a road less travelled” without the professional guidance, generosity of spirit and resilient shining example that I found in the female leaders of the North West NHS finance function.

My career and reputation would not have evolved across the wider accountancy and management professions without the unlimited access to and positive influence of the friendship, integrity, vision, example and conversation of the amazing female professionals that have crossed my path through  long engagement with my professional bodies. I will continue to work and be successful because I now know how to make the most of the resources and opportunities offered and sought by my wide and trusted female network.

Pam Dyson

Kim Li

Director of Finance, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust 

My mother is my inspiration. My mother first moved from Hong Kong to England as a newly married eighteen year old.  She then became a divorcee at twenty five years old with three children to raise as a single parent. My mother encouraged me to believe that anything is possible and that with hard work I could aspire to more and have it all.

I have worked with many women over the years who have inspired me but three women in particular come to mind. Inese, whose friendship, mentoring and encouragement convinced me that I could make the transition from public sector audit into the NHS and still keeps me motivated today; Tracey, who has always kept me grounded, is my sounding board and helps me to see the right thing to do in difficult situations; and Kate, whose “can do” attitude coached me into making the next step to Director. So on International Women’s Day I would like to say “Thank you” to all my female colleagues and friends. .
Kim Li
Sue Lorimer

Non Executive Director, Wirral University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and HFMA Past President

I have benefited from knowing some fantastic female colleagues and role models over my working life although I’ve never had a formal mentor. I think the first one would be my mum who thought I could do anything and never talked down my aspirations. I learned from Sheree that it is possible to work hard and play hard and from Louise that you can be a great Chief Executive and a decent human being. And I would pay tribute to all the women who have worked with me and for me who have kept me sane when times were tough. They know who they are.

  
Sue Lorimer
Claire Merrick

Coaching and Mentoring Services Manager HFMA and
Project Lead Aspiring Finance Leaders Programme Future Focused Finance

I can think of many people who have helped me in my career. To celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate the female giants on whose shoulders I now proudly stand. The first was my first boss, Liz who saw something in me that I absolutely did not see in myself. She simply says, ‘off you go’ and encouraged me to be myself, take the odd risk, challenge existing ways of thinking and acting, she gave me my first break. The second was a colleague in my first big job, Pam encouraged me to pause, draw breath and notice when my excitement and pace left others behind or ran someone over. The third is my sister, she reminds that life is not all about success in the workplace, she makes me laugh and has the courage to tell me those home truths that I need to know but don’t always want to hear, she’s my best critical friend.

Claire Merrick
Louise Shepherd

Chief Executive, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

I joined the NHS over 25 years ago and have been blessed with the friendship, support and professionalism of many amazing women throughout that time, in Birmingham and the North West.  I realise that all the teams I have worked with have been brilliant – delivering great care and results for patients, with great humour and mutual support – because of those women.  Too many to mention, but to Suzanne, Becky, Jane and Sue….all great leaders in their own right….I owe a great deal.  And, like us all, to my Mum and my sisters, who loved the NHS and who believed in me…thanks.

Louise Shepherd
Jane Tomkinson

Chief Executive, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

I have been blessed throughout my career to work with and for some fantastic women leaders and colleagues who have knowingly and unknowingly provided me with mentoring and support. In the early days the informal coaching gave me the confidence to go for the next job as they believed in me way more than I believed in myself. Later, Louise convinced me I could balance the job, a young family and studying for a MBA and she was right! To this day I tap into a network of mentors and see and learn from those women who epitomise great leaders, many of them still an active part of HFMA. I mentor several women (and men!) at various stages of their career and probably get as much from those conversations as the mentees. My advice is don’t be shy, draw on those women who have experienced the twists and turns of a career in the NHS.

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Jane Tomkinson

For further information about HFMA’s coaching and mentoring services please click here.

Ready to find your HFMA Executive Coach or an HFMA Mentor, email Lily Chapman.