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RCEM supports Parent Doctors to access innovative Leaders Plus Fellowship

26 July 2022

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine have committed to part-sponsoring places on the new Leaders Plus NHS Fellowship Programme. This innovative intervention helps parents progress their career whilst balancing their commitments as a parent.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is the first Royal College to partner with the award-winning social enterprise Leaders Plus to support the retention and career development of doctors with young children in the specialty. 

The College will part-sponsor 20 places on this programme for doctors with children between the ages of 0 and 11 as part of their efforts to address the gender pay gap and offer support to members who are balancing a demanding career with young children.

The nine month Fellowship includes support in small groups to develop their career alongside their family commitments, support to develop into leadership and access to senior leaders inside and outside the NHS who share how they have combined senior careers with young children. They will also receive high quality resources to manage practical challenges such as time management. 

The programme is accessible to mothers and fathers with children between 0 and 11, doctors can take babies along to the workshops. 

The first six months (NHS Leaders Plus Foundation Fellowship) focus on career development for working parents as individuals. The next three months (NHS Leaders Plus Changemaker Fellowship) are optional and enable Fellows to support other parents by driving positive change in their trusts.

Since its launch on International Women’s Day 2018, when over 50 leaders and 20 babies attended the inaugural Fellowship event at the House of Commons, Leaders Plus has worked tirelessly to support talented men and women with babies and young children. Empowering them to progress in senior careers whilst at the same time enjoying their young families.

The Leaders Plus Fellowship – which has won Nesta’s and the Observer’s 50 New Radicals award – has to date supported hundreds of parents from all sectors, with approximately a quarter of parents working in the NHS and many of those coming from an emergency medicine speciality. This new programme will be adapted for the NHS specifically. 

Gordon Miles, CEO of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: 

“In Emergency Medicine we have an incredible workforce of highly-trained and dedicated staff; retention of our workforce is crucial. No doctor should have to sacrifice their career to care for their family. The Royal College is proud to partner with Leaders Plus and offer these places. We are committed to acknowledging and tackling the gender pay gap. It is right that members who are working parents are supported and able to progress their careers, the Leaders Plus Programme is a fantastic initiative to that end.”

Verena Hefti MBE, CEO of Leaders Plus, said: 

“The NHS currently has a gender pay gap of around 17% for hospital doctors. This is exacerbated because working parents, especially mums, feel they must choose between continuing to progress ambitious careers and enjoying their young children. 

“RCEM was the first Royal College who started working with us to address these issues, and I am pleased to say that many of our graduates are making brave changes for other working parents at their Trusts. I am excited to see what will happen when we bring together an NHS specific programme and I am delighted to be working with RCEM.”

The application deadline is on 3 October, individuals can apply on the Leaders Plus website.

Pictures, audio and video available.


Notes to Editors

Leaders Plus ( @Leaders_Plus 

  • Leaders Plus is an award winning social enterprise supporting talented leaders with babies and young children to continue to stay on the leadership pipeline through professional development, consultancy and access to mentoring and networks. 
  • An independent evaluation of the award-winning Leaders Plus Fellowship Programme has been shown to be making a positive impact on the gender pay gap. Read the full evaluation here.
  • Contact Leaders Plus for more information on 07894320054 
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