#Balanceforbetter: Celebrating our fantastic female workforce

Dhivya Subramaniam, Health Economist for ICHP’s Business Intelligence team, on the inspirational women she’s proud to call her colleagues.

For me, one of the best things about working at ICHP is the wonderful colleagues I am surrounded by. Kind, caring and supportive, whatever their position, I feel genuinely lucky to be part of this team.

This International Women’s Day (IWD) I am delighted to be surrounded by so many hard-working, inspirational women, and to work for an organisation where gender is no barrier to success. This year’s IWD theme is #Balanceforbetter and I count myself lucky to be working for an organisation with such a balanced structure and strives always for equal opportunities.

It’s rare that I even consider my gender at work these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Before joining ICHP I trained in medicine and was in the early years of my surgical training – an area that is still very much male-dominated. During that time I was very aware of the fact that I was female and felt I had to work twice as hard to be heard or to get opportunities. Having said that, there were some incredibly inspiring male surgical mentors without whose support I wouldn’t be where I am today, but they weren’t in the majority.

At ICHP things couldn’t be more different. Women play a pivotal role in every aspect of our work. From health economists, data analysts, our business manager to our head of data and analytics, I’m proud that women occupy such a wide range of roles within our organisation. These roles are critical to the work we do, like our communications and engagement leads who, amongst their wide portfolio, ensure patient and the public voices are heard and involved right throughout our work.

Our innovation advisors and delivery managers also play a key role in driving innovation into the NHS; I have a learned a great many non-medical skills from them that are essential to my current role. None of us could function in isolation and I’m proud to be part of a team where women are so well represented.

Only this week I was asked by my manager to give a careers talk at a local school. He could have chosen anyone from the team but wanted to showcase the great work that women are doing within the Business Intelligence team at ICHP and prove to teenage girls that there are a wealth of opportunities for women in this field.

I definitely think things are changing in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) professions, which is great to see. I volunteer with Future Frontiers, a careers coaching service for pupils in Year 10, and speak to a lot of 15-year-old girls who are interested in a STEM career, which I don’t think was the case when I was that age.

There will undoubtedly still be some hurdles for them to overcome but progress is being made, and it’s great to feel that I am playing a small part in that. I love what I do and would encourage other women and girls to consider this as a profession. Every day I know that I am helping to deliver sustainable, meaningful change for our local populations, supported by a fantastically talented and diverse team towards a more balanced better world.